This book tells the most troubling media story of our time: how democracy suffers when local news dies. Legislation passed without debate; council meetings without reporters present; candidates who can say anything and get away with it. The New Orleans Times Picayune's sudden yielding to its upstart competitor in Baton Rouge, the Advocate; the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, where iconoclastic publisher Walter Hussman is giving away $12 million worth of free iPads to subscribers so they can read in digital form what looks 'exactly' like a daily print edition--while limiting actual print publication to Sundays. The city of East Palo Alto, once served by two weeklies, has become a 'news desert': There was no news coverage for a week when 80 percent of the school district's 184 teachers, in an emotional public meeting, protested what they saw as the school superintendent's mismanagement and signed a vote of no confidence. The ghosting of local news is happening before our eyes--fast, and with no end in sight.
Ghosting the News
Local Journalism and the Crisis of America Democracy