The demise of local news has far-reaching consequences that are especially felt during a pandemic, when many small towns do not know they are infected until it is too late, writes renowned author and Kennett Square resident Mark Bowden for The Atlantic.
With local news having mostly disappeared, many people in small communities learn about national and international COVID-19 trends but receive no reports about what is happening in their immediate vicinity.
In southern Chester County, for example, there was a huge jump in cases at the end of May, when the overall number in new cases in the rest of the county began to stabilize. This went mostly unnoticed among local media, which was focusing on the larger regional story. Very few of the local news outfits – many of which are working with significantly reduced capacities – have drawn attention to it.
Yet, this represents exactly the kind of thing a local reporter would focus on … when there are local reporters available. And when there are none, the disease can spread among populations much faster than would otherwise be the case.
Read more about the effects of the demise of local news during the pandemic in The Atlantic here.
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