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Dunaway Talks to PBS Newshour About the Decline of Local News and Its Impact on the US’ Civic Health

December 22, 2023


Johanna Dunaway

Johanna Dunaway

Across the country, over the past two decades, more than 2200 weekly newspapers have closed down. And tens of thousands of reporters have been laid off. Researchers say that not only has profound effects on the practice of journalism, but also on the country's civic health.

"Local news is sort of something that reminds people of what they have in common, both their challenges and their shared identities, their shared culture, their shared community," says Johanna Dunaway, professor of political science and research director of the Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship.

"National news, for all of its many benefits, it tends to frame politics in America through the lens of the major conflicts between the two parties. And for those Americans, or those citizens who are only watching the national news, they often only get this sort of game-framed style coverage that's almost like sports reporting with Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other," Dunaway says.

Watch the full interview on PBS Newshour, "America at a Crossroads with Judy Woodruff." (begins at 30:35)

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