The state of today’s News Business – Sarah Stonbely

The state of today’s News Business – Sarah Stonbely

The journalism school at Northwestern University released a study about the state of news coverage in the United States. The study’s director, researcher Sarah Stonbely, joined Family Life News for a conversation about how the media landscape has changed, and how the biases of many national media outlets makes local news coverage that much more important.

However, she says, local news is hurting too. As traditional sources for news are hurting, many more Americans are living in what is described as a “news desert” — a local region where people have only one sources (or zero!) for local news. Newspapers are drying up at a rate of two per week, fewer and fewer broadcasters focus on news, and much of the public now goes to social media to stay informed.

Included in this interview:

  • What troubles have arisen due to changes in news media, plus what are some current bright spots?
  • When national outlets have skewed toward a single viewpoint (one side or the other the cultural or political spectrum), what role must local newswriters and newscasters take for their local audience?
  • How should news organizations “fix” these dilemmas?
  • What is essential for the consumers of news and information, as they seek balance, truth and insights?

Dr. Sarah Stonbely is the director of the Local News Project from the Medill School of Journalism and Media at Northwestern University. 

Their latest report is available here: localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/projects/state-of-local-news/2023/

Medill’s News Initiative also has additional articles, research and analysis of what the news landscape is like these days, plus a data-based “MRI” of what is happening in news media — with expectations of what trends will be next: localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/

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