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REPORT: Local journalism remains important

beware of dog by Tom Woodward, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

Local news outlets are facing the same challenges as their larger counterparts: declining revenues, smaller newsrooms and shuttered titles. New report by UO School of Journalism and Communication Agora Journalism Center, explores the practice of local journalism in the Pacific Northwest. The report is written by Damian Radcliffe, of University of Oregon. The study covers 10 news outlets and it is based on in-depth interviews with 12 editors, reporters.

The author describes these news outlets as a microcosm of the wider local news industry in the United States. Despite the pressures and uncertainties the journalism sector faces, in addition to the digital disruption, core journalistic values and purposes still matter. The interviewed journalists pinpoint a number of important issues the sector must address.

Here are the nine key experiences and ideas for the future revealed by the interviews:

  • Local journalism remains important.
  • The practice of local journalism is evolving.
  • Local news providers will not look like they did in the past.
  • Newsrooms will be smaller and increasingly visually oriented.
  • Doubling down on unique local content may be essential for survival.
  • Outlets are experimenting with multiple ways to increase revenue.
  • Engagement, both online and in real life, is an emerging priority.
  • Local media needs to be more diverse in staffing and content.
  • Local journalism is the vanguard for the wider profession.

The report, “Local journalism in the Pacific Northwest: Why It Matters, How It’s Evolving and Who Pays for It,” It is available here.

Picture: beware of dog by Tom Woodward, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

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