Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy
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What We're Saying
A free press is foundational to a free society. We have gone too far in trading ours for the Silicon Valley notion that information wants to be free, even as Silicon Valley has built some of the world’s largest, most monopolistic corporations monetizing that supposedly “free” information. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
These are the 40 books we found represent the year best in one way or another. They help us make sense of the challenges 2020 has presented us with, understand the depths of the existing cracks it has exposed in our society, and offer solutions to solve the many truly monumental challenges we face—together. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
We will be announcing the overall winner of the 2020 Porchlight Business Book Awards on January 14. Until then, we are taking a look back at the books in contention for the award. Today, we have the books in the Current Events & Public Affairs category, and a look inside the one we chose as the best among them. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Ranging from the nature of work and creativity to the foundations that our communities, business models, and economics are built upon, each of these books resonates strongly with 2020, a year like none other. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
"An excellent introduction to the essential problem of our republic. With a wake-up call like this one, we still have a chance."--Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
An Epidemic of News Deserts and Ghost Papers.
Ghosting the News tells the most troubling media story of our time: How democracy suffers when local news dies. From 2004 to 2015, 1,800 print newspaper outlets closed in the US. One in five news organizations in Canada has closed since 2008. One in three Brazilians lives in news deserts. The absence of accountability journalism has created an atmosphere in which indicted politicians were elected, school superintendents were mismanaging districts, and police chiefs were getting mysterious payouts. This is not the much-discussed fake-news problem--it's the separate problem of a critical shortage of real news.
America's premier media critic, Margaret Sullivan, charts the contours of the damage, and surveys a range of new efforts to keep local news alive--from non-profit digital sites to an effort modeled on the Peace Corps. No nostalgic paean to the roar of rumbling presses, Ghosting the News instead sounds a loud alarm, alerting citizens to a growing crisis in local news that has already done serious damage.