WIUM Tristates Public Radio

News Deserts & Democracy

Aug 4, 2020

Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan's new book is Ghosting the News: American Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy. She writes about the decline of local news coverage; more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business since 2004.

Sullivan contends that when local newspapers disappear, community ties are weakened and there is less oversight of public officials, which could lead to fraud and corruption.  

She also said people living in news deserts end up getting information from rumors and other less reliable sources.

Sullivan was the guest on Fresh Air on Monday August 3. You can listen to the program here to learn more about what she has to say.

The Shop Talk panelists share their thoughts on the potential damage caused by the dwindling number of local news outlets. They said residents should be willing to spend the same amount on local news organizations that they spend on entertainment outlets such as Netflix.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

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