Our view: All news is local

DKS Editors

Chances are you found out about yesterday’s class cancellations, parking bans and snow emergencies from the local TV news or news Web sites – maybe even ours.

That’s just one of the reasons why local news is so important. After all, the news most likely to affect you stems from decisions passed down by leaders only a few miles from your house. The New York Times or CNN, for example, isn’t going to report on school closings or a new city ordinance.

A particular victim of a slowing economy has been the media. Circulation, advertising and readership are dwindling. This is particularly troubling for us, considering many of us will be looking for jobs in journalism in a year or a few short months. That, however, isn’t the most troubling aspect. Small town newspapers and local TV stations will be the first to drown in these harsh economic times.

You should understand your community and local news operations are the best equipped to help you do so. They dispel local rumors and help inform you about why things are the way they are.

You can criticize the media all you want. You can harass the local newscasts on WKYC or WEWS. You could even express your annoyance with hometown papers like the Record-Courier, Akron Beacon Journal and even the Daily Kent Stater. The fact is that these organizations tell you what you need to know even though it might not be as engaging as what puppy the Obama children are going to pick out.

As soon as the local media dries up, so do the watchdogs that – well, at least should – keep tabs on local leaders and administrators. These watchdogs are vital components of the American democracy. Without the media’s vigilance, who knows what could happen?

That’s where you come in. We’re asking for your support. Read and watch local media. As for local businesses, please invest your advertising dollars in various local media -ÿTV, newspaper and Web.

Don’t let us all fall into a state where we can barely give you what you need to know and what you should know. Our generation has become increasingly uninterested in the environment in which we operate. If you’re one of those people who have fallen to the wayside and don’t care about anything outside your comfort zone, pick up a newspaper or turn on the local news.

After all, you might learn something.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.