The way Americans get their news has undergone a revolution in the past two decades. This transition is not slowing; it is accelerating, with significant implications for civic engagement and public discourse. At the local level, hundreds of daily and weekly newspapers have vanished, decimated by a media ecosystem that has migrated from print to online. The void created by the challenges to print publications, however, has created a huge opportunity for local television stations to be relevant to the daily lives of Americans by bringing them not only the news of the day but also buttressing the accountability of public and private institutions.

Since 2004, an astonishing 1,800 newspapers have shuttered, including more than 60 dailies and 1,700 weeklies, according to the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina. The number of print readers has declined even more precipitously, as publishers shrink their publications and scale back on distribution, particularly in rural areas. 

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Next TV | by Soo Kim