News

Today, the hallways of the Florida Press Center are quiet. Few politicians make their way through the building and only seven news organizations are still housed there—two of them digital-only operations that didn’t exist a decade ago.

The connection is no coincidence, says Rubado. “If there’s nobody reporting on or providing information about candidates, about legislation, about how money is being spent, or the budgeting process, how will people know that they require a quality challenger to unseat an ineffective mayor?” she said. “They don’t know the mayor is ineffective!”

It almost seems impossible to ignore national politics today. The stream of stories about the president and Congress is endless; whether online, in print or on television, it’s never been easier to follow the action.

When local newspapers shut their doors, communities lose out. People and their stories can't find coverage. Politicos take liberties when it's nobody's job to hold them accountable. What the public doesn't know winds up hurting them. The city feels poorer, politically and culturally.

According to a new working paper, local news deserts lose out financially too. Cities where newspapers closed up shop saw increases in government costs as a result of the lack of scrutiny over local deals, say researchers who tracked the decline of local news outlets between 1996 and 2015.