Photo by Jock Lauterer, The Local Reporter
Local Journalism Pays You Back
Investing a few dollars a week in local journalism can ultimately save you money while keeping you and your neighbors healthier and safer, because local journalism is invested in you. If you care about your community, then you care about local journalism.
We created a directory to help you find local journalism in your area worth reading and supporting. Ready to look for sources in your area? Click below.
but only 1 in 6 Americans pay for their news.
“Local newspapers hold their governments accountable…ultimately saving local taxpayers money.”
So what does local journalism do?
Connects you to your community
From learning about our neighbors and keeping up with high school sports teams, to knowing who’s passed away and what events are happening around town, local journalism is a vital resource. It encourages civic participation, builds social bonds, and strengthens community ties.
Lifts marginalized voices
Workers, immigrants, the poor, and the underserved have voices that aren’t always heard. Local journalism serves all members of a community by highlighting their struggles, celebrating their successes, and valuing their contributions.
“How can you vote on what’s going on in your town if no one’s even covering what’s going on in your town?”
- Storm Lake documentary
Exposes corruption, fraud, and immorality
"Journalism is what somebody doesn’t want you to know” is a saying about the important watchdog feature of local reporting. Newsrooms are the natural place for whistleblowers to go with information about the unethical practices of corporations and government officials in your town, county, and state.
The only way we can be aware of injustice in our legal system is for local journalists to be in our courtrooms, prisons, and jails.
“The way to right wrongs is to shine the light of truth upon them.” - Ida B. Wells
"Reliable news sources are like the old town square or village green, where locals congregate and shape their communities through debate and discussion."
Holds power accountable
“Local reporters play the vitally important role of ‘bearing witness’ and it is socially beneficial to have them posted in all neighbor-hoods. Just having reporters on the scene can change the way that authorities operate, making them more accountable.”
- Victor Pickard, Democracy Without Journalism?
Saves lives by exposing negligence
As members of the communities they report on, local journalists are invested in the health and safety of their neighbors. Unsafe conditions like dangerous railroad crossings, crumbling bridges, and unsanitary kitchens are the type of noncompliance with safety regulations that journalists monitor.
"Each dollar spent by a newspaper on investigative reporting can save taxpayers hundreds of dollars by changing public policy and rooting out waste and corruption.”
Protects children from harm
Is the drinking water safe? Is poor air quality in my area giving my kid chronic asthma? Is the school building toxic? We don’t know the answers to these questions without dedicated local journalists keeping an eye on things and telling us about them.
Uncovers corporate greed
We may have a sense that we’re being nickeled and dimed by our employer or other businesses operating in our area, but it is the local journalist who has the passion and the resources to investigate and reveal the ways we are getting screwed, so that we might organize and do something about it.
How does local journalism strengthen democracy?
Local journalists are a community’s immune system. They alert us to dangers, root out waste, and strengthen our communities. On top of all that, they make us better citizens.
Studies show that civic engagement increases where local news is strong - more people vote. Residents are more likely to contact their representatives and get involved with community groups. The public can hold their elected officials accountable because they know more about them. Elected officials are more engaged in their districts and more attentive to their constituents because they know they’re being watched. And when citizens base their votes on strong local journalism, rather than national news, they are less likely to rely on the sensational, partisan biases blasted to them on cable news and social media that lead to increased polarization. source: Democracy Without Journalism?
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Invest in Local Journalism.
It Pays You Back.
Local Journalism Directory
We created this directory to help you find local journalism in your area worth supporting. By donating or subscribing to the newsrooms on our list you’ll be paying towards the advancement of quality, community-focused journalism and contributing to a better informed citizenry, the bedrock of a strong democracy.
We sought outlets that hold the powerful to account, report the perspectives of marginalized communities, and seeks to verify truth rather than push false objectivity.
Please submit outlet suggestions, corrections, or any comments you might have to: