Local news has been dying for years. It’s a big deal. Yes, it costs jobs and removes a sense of community, but it’s more than just that. The vacuum it leaves behind is often filled by false information, conspiracy theories, and fake news intended to divide. The internet hurt the local news business. The pandemic made it worse at a moment of crisis when we needed trusted local voices the most. From The Washington Post Magazine (Gift Article): The Lost Local News Issue: “Since 2005, about 2,200 local newspapers across America have closed. Here are some of the stories in danger of being lost — as told by local journalists.” (You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been sharing a lot of gift articles that are ordinarily behind paywalls. This brings up another issue facing fans of reality. Real news often costs. Fake news is free.)

+ “Studies show that people who live in areas with poor local news coverage are less likely to vote, and when they do, they are more likely to do so strictly along party lines. To put it bluntly, the demise of local news poses the kind of danger to our democracy that should have alarm sirens screeching across the land.” Margaret Sullivan: What Happens to Democracy When Local Journalism Dries Up?