Local Newspaper is an important Asset that the Communities Do Not Want to Lose

by Sauro on April 10, 2016 - 9:06pm

In recent posts, I have devoted myself to the issue of the gradual disappearance of community journalism, but also, why it is still a crucial feature of society. For instance, I presented the current community journalism situation in the United Kingdom in Some Laws and Policies Deprive Local News Integrity in the United Kingdom where, like numerous parts of world, this unfortunate phenomenon may result in negative consequences. In short, it is clear that the local news industry is endangered, however, it plays a very important social role in communities. This post will explore the connections found in the article Community Newspaper Use Promotes Social Cohesion written by Masahiro Yamamoto of the Newspaper Research Journal in 2011 with my personal knowledge on the topic. More specifically, how local journalism is an asset to communities. 

In his article, Yamamoto describes a study he conducted which revealed that community journalism is promoting social cohesion. According to this source, “social cohesion is building shared values and communities of interpretation, reducing disparities in wealth and income, and generally enabling people to have a sense that they are engaged in a common enterprise”. In other words, local news brings light to the community enabling its people to live together more efficiently. For example, community journalism has a positive impact on people’s involvement in local affairs such as engaging in volunteering activities, on social and health outcomes, on the community’s identity, on the people civic participation, and so on. Basically, it contributes to the community’s well-being. 

All these facts and information are extremely alarming. To explain, this article shows what the communities are slowly loosing as the budgetary cuts, centralization of media, and media corporation’s policies affect negatively the quality of these local news publications regardless of how they are a primary part of their social structure. It seems this issue is difficult to be taking cared of probably because most people concerned by this matter are not aware of the actually gravity of it. Nonetheless, it is now clear that they should be. After reading this article by Masahiro Yamamoto, one would better understand the importance of he gradual disappearance of community journalism when he encounters a similar news story to the one that happened in the United Kingdom.