Local News Is Dying: What's Killing It? : 1A Local newsrooms are struggling to stay alive. Major outlets, including public radio stations, continue to lay-off journalists.

While some of those layoffs can be chalked up to the economic impact of the pandemic or private equity firms that buy and shut down newspapers – a lot of it is the online migration of advertising.

But what it means for you is fewer reliable sources to tell you what's going on and why. Americans in "news deserts" tend to rely on social media to get the latest on their communities and beyond. But relying on social media for information can be less than awesome.

We discuss what can be done to keep Americans looking for news about where they live informed — especially in an election year.

Want to support 1A? Give to your local public radio station and subscribe to this podcast. Have questions? Connect with us. Listen to 1A sponsor-free by signing up for 1A+ at plus.npr.org/the1a.

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Local News Is Dying: What's Killing It?

Local News Is Dying: What's Killing It?

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Newspaper boxes sit in front of a shuttered grocery store in Cairo, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Newspaper boxes sit in front of a shuttered grocery store in Cairo, Illinois.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Local newsrooms are struggling to stay alive. Major outlets, including public radio stations, continue to lay-off journalists. Why?

Some of it can be chalked up to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Some of it is the fault of private equity firms that buy and shut down newspapers. A lot of it is the online migration of advertising.

But what it means for you is fewer reliable sources to tell you what's going on and why. Americans in "news deserts" tend to rely on social media to get the latest on their communities and beyond. But relying on social media for information can be less than awesome.

So, what can be done to keep Americans looking for news about where they live informed?

Find more of our programs online. Listen to 1A sponsor-free by signing up for 1A+ at plus.npr.org/the1a.