Courtesy of VA News, check out Charting the years-long decline of local news reporting from The Washington Post.
The slow deterioration of local-news reporting has been a source of alarm in some quarters for years, especially the retreat from state- and local-government accountability reporting. In 2009, a blue-ribbon panel backed by the nonprofit Knight Foundation warned of a “crisis” among “local journalistic institutions that have traditionally served democracy.” In a 2011 report, the Federal Communications Commission concluded, “The independent watchdog function that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalism . . . is in some cases at risk at the local level.”
If I’m in a hurry, I will bypass the the national section of the paper and head straight for the Hampton Roads section. In fact, when I urge non-paper readers to start reading the paper, it is the local section that I always point them to.
We have many sources of national news. But local news? Much, much harder to come by.