Local news outlets are crucial to stopping COVID-19 spread

For years, I have monitored news from diverse sources, partly because I am a self-confessed news junkie and because I need to have a 360-degree view of the world to be an effective leader of a public health organization. Since March, I have increasingly focused my news consumption on COVID-19 stories and information, particularly given its inequitable impacts on under-resourced communities and African American populations. This includes scanning progressive and conservative media outlets as well as news from local publications, television shows, and websites.

While national news consistently tells the story of infection rates, the death toll, and COVID-driven unemployment numbers via sidebar graphics; local news is sharing essential information about the implications of local infection rates and places to be tested; financial support for families in need; as well as humanizing members of the community who succumb to the virus — information residents want and need.

It’s the story behind the story; the insights, information and context that comes from local coverage that lead to healthier communities that we need right now.

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