The death of the print media comes of its' own problems. However, local
radio and TV are soon to go, if they haven't already. There aren't
many local newsrooms anymore, or even non syndicated programming. Ownership
concentration further mutes local voices. Sinclair is a prime example, and clear
channel, and a few others. We're all being given over to corporate
interests, or whatever garbage someone wants to put on the net.
The difference is that buggy whips don't spend taspayer money and decide
local issues, then run for re-election. Local politics runs in the dark, and a
lot of people seem to like it that way.
I was thinking about coverage. This story is all about small towns of 50,000 or
so, but let's look at our situation. We've got two newspapers in Salt
Lake, but what do we know about city council meetings in Sandy or Murray or
Herriman?Right here we have serious coverage gaps. Sure, if
there's big news like an NSA center or a project at the Cottonwood Mall
site, it gets covered. But we're no better off than rural Missouri most of
the time.It sounds nice to say we've still got a newspaper, but
that doesn't mean we've got local coverage.The meetings
are open, and some towns stream and archive the meetings for those who want to
watch. Most of us are motivated by hot topics, but otherwise don't
watch.As for the newspaper model, local papers started with a
agenda, usually a political one. They were basically newsletters with
subscribers and advertisers. The model doesn't work any longer.Then again, it's hard to find a good buggy whip these days.