Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) had a great piece in the @PostStyle section the other day about local news being king of everywhere else but here. I’ve been saying this for years: journalism isn’t dead, and it’s not going to die. It’s going to shift; it’s going to move; some treasured parts will be shattered (and that may be a bad thing), but other stuff will be built (and that, generally, will be a good thing).
Her story isn’t a scientific study (though a few of those are around–I’ll look for one) that talks about the trust local news has with its audience. But anecdotally speaking, the story tells us that locals in central Pennsylvania trust their local reporters.
Even though it’s been fun to beat up journos lately, and that makes people wonder about the safety and security of the industry, what this story shows is that if we focus on telling the best stories we can and work toward earning trust with our audiences, they’ll reward us by paying attention.
As major news outlets focus on inter/national audiences, the local players will fill the gaps, finding the many, many other stories that are told daily and weekly all over the country. So I’ll end with this: take journalism classes and news writing because journalism isn’t dead, it’s just changing.