Many of the discussions and analyses about the crises facing local news have looked at the challenges from a national perspective, an industry perspective, or in the context of legacy state and metro-area daily news organizations. In many cases, that vantage point (and the sorts of metaphors evoked in the first panel in this “Redefining the Local News Crisis” series) doesn’t give visibility to the complex factors at play on the ground in many communities. The quantity and quality of coverage may differ dramatically by neighborhood, by community, or by coverage type (the “socially distant but geographically near” communities Letrell Crittenden and Andrea Wenzel have written about).
Which communities are/aren’t imagined as part of what is evoked as the “local place” being covered? Who is the imagined audience? And what constitutes the work of local journalism? The panelists for this session will draw on their research, hyperlocal reporting experience, and experimentation. They will highlight the distinctions of reporting on a community versus for a community, insights from communities who feel ignored in coverage completely, and what they’ve learned about what might work to sustain inclusive, comprehensive coverage of a community.