For someone involved in journalism for half a century, the latest findings on American media habits prove especially disturbing.
From the Pew Research Center [click on the image to enlarge]:
What’s particularly worrisome is that local newspapers are the conduits to give national and international news a local focus.
Throughout much of our time working for community papers, we would look at national developments and show how they impacted local individuals, organizations, and governments.
National level papers, by definition, deal largely in abstractions, descrying broad patterns that point to trends, while local papers deal with particulars, revealing how those generalizations would impact folks you know.
The death of the nation’s community, either through closure, merger, or takeover by corporations interested more in profit that in furthering the goals of democracy, has severed much of journalism from its roots and left us with a population more susceptible to manipulations by politicians skilled in manipulating emotion to accomplish the ends of their financial sponsors.