Saturday, February 23, 2019

Newsroom Employment, Unexpected Effects

The number of people employed in newspaper newsrooms dropped in half between 2008 and 2017, according to the Pew Research Center:

Newspapers are where local news gets covered in any depth, and local news is often about local government, right? Who is it that goes to city council meetings, committee meetings, and court cases? TV reporters? I don't think so.

Well, it turns out that loss of journalists and newspapers has financial effects on taxpayers. As described on this Hidden Brain podcast, municipal borrowing costs went up significantly in cities that lost a daily newspaper. "Overall, [the] results indicate that local newspapers hold their governments accountable, keeping municipal borrowing costs low and ultimately saving local taxpayers money."

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