Miller’s Poynter op-ed: News literacy can help sustain local journalism

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In an op-ed published by the Poynter Institute on July 6, Alan Miller wrote about the distressing loss of hundreds of newspapers across the nation and the impact those losses have on local communities. His piece Give local journalism a fighting chance by creating a demand for it, makes the case that we need to educate the next generation about news literacy to create an appreciation and a demand for quality journalism:

“Local newspaper reporters who doggedly attend school board, planning commission and city council meetings and who scan police blotters and pore over budgets and contracts are essential cogs in our communities. They serve as the eyes and ears of the public and play a critical role as watchdogs for waste, fraud and abuse and holding officials accountable.

“I know this firsthand: I began what became a nearly three-decade journalism career playing this role in Colonie, New York, and later in Bergen County, New Jersey.

“Strong local news outlets also help to strengthen civic life, encouraging people to become involved in their communities and serving as virtual town squares. In fact, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, a new Pew Research survey found Americans believe local news outlets are more credible sources of information about the pandemic than the news media in general.

“Yet, these vital institutions are being lost in one community after another as financial losses force local newspapers to close their doors or thin their ranks.”

You can read the entire piece on Poynter’s website.

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