A new report from the Agora Journalism Center of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication finds that Oregon residents are unevenly served by local news media and some communities have few places to get local news. The report also details how journalists and civic leaders are deeply concerned about the state’s ability to meet its challenges at a time when news broadcasts are declining, news audiences are shrinking and disinformation is on the rise.
The report, “Assessing Oregon’s Local News and Information Ecosystem 2022,” is co-authored by Agora Journalism Center’s research director Regina Lawrence and director Andrew DeVigal, as well as two UO School of Journalism and Communication doctoral students.
The study is the first attempt to fully count the number of old and startup newscasts in Oregon and assess the state’s local news and information ecosystem. It includes an interactive map of news outlets in the state that regularly produce original local news.
It also includes a comprehensive review of research demonstrating the importance of local public health news in the community; insights from interviews with more than two dozen Oregon journalists, experts and civic leaders; and recommendations for strengthening our local news ecosystem.
“At a time when Oregon, like so many states in the country, faces critical challenges, it is important to recognize the irreplaceable role of local news in our state’s public health. The decline in Oregon’s local news production reflects national trends , but Oregon can learn from initiatives being trialled in other states and being a leader in reversing the decline,” Lawrence said.
The authors say the report’s findings raise concerns about Oregon’s news and information infrastructure, as research shows that areas without local news have lower civic engagement, more polarization and corruption, and a decreased sense of community.
“Evidence is mounting that community public health is inextricably linked to the future of local news. Our analysis is a step toward evaluating the state of Oregon’s local news and citizen information ecosystem. would like to work with others interested in strengthening Oregonians’ access to trusted news and information based on the recommendations we outline in the report,” DeVigal said.
The report provides examples of how many of Oregon’s old news outlets are finding ways to adapt, innovate and grow despite the increasingly challenging environment. It also highlights innovations taking place across the country to encourage greater collaboration between newsrooms to leverage limited resources, guidance and resources from journalism support organizations, and efforts in some states to implement public funding to support local news.
As local newspapers close, struggling communities are hit hardest
Quote: Research links local news, community health (2022, October 21) retrieved October 21, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-links-local-news-civic-health.html
This document is copyrighted. Other than fair dealing for personal study or research, nothing may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.