Uncategorized · Zimo Wang

Local news exist like oxygen

Image from Google

In China, we have a metaphor sentence structure: XXX is like oxygen, you won’t realize its importance until you lose it one day. In this case, I think “local journalism” fits the sentence.

In the article “Gannett and the last great local hope”, the author said “a future without local newspapers is by now a familiar prospect in America.” I actually had a similar prediction in my first blog: We might lose newspaper one day because people tend to read news online. I am not sure about the newspaper, but I am very supportive of local newsroom.

I used to be a feature reporter at The State News. As an international student, it’s a good opportunity for me to learn more about my community in a neutral position, and when I covered international student activities/organizations, it became a chance for domestic students to know more about us, too.

Last semester, almost every story that I wrote had some international perspective, and as the only international student in the newsroom last semester, I feel like I somehow became their voice. And I indeed made an impact. I interacted a lot with advisors and staff who work at MSU Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) for stories. Day by day, they started to ask about the State News and would share stories from the newsroom on social media. From this case, we have to admit the necessity of local news.

Another article published on NiemanLab pointed the value of “accountable”. “Journalists have talked about accountability journalism and practiced it well for decades. But in recent years…That’s how the framers saw it when they gave the press quite a shout-out. They didn’t do that so that fishmongers, tailors, and alehouse keepers would have a place to advertise. They did it to keep tabs on power,” according to the texts. I really think local journalists need to know who we are serving and what do they need. If we are asking for funding from people to support us, we need to make some benefits on them as well. That way I think more and more people would like to pick our newspaper because there is “accountable” information.

Referring back to the newspaper topic, “People want to blame the internet for the news industry’s troubles, but the seeds go back to the 1980s,” said in a story on SLATE, “The internet is just one part of the story. Decades of sparse investment and enormous debt service left media companies exposed and hamstrung at a time when investment was needed.” That means newspaper has some irreplaceable characteristic that Internet can’t destroy.

I realize state news’s newspaper has a list of churches, so residents could look at it. When freshman coming, they don’t know a lot of the community, if newspapers could add some specific information for them for a certain period and students could pick up anywhere to check, that would be accountable as well. Also, a free physical copy of newspaper would stay around campus for a week, that means your story could be read at any time by any chance. But digital news are fast and just last for one day, tomorrow would be a new package of news.

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