Wo hat Donald Trump überproportional viele Stimmen gewonnen? Und wo erscheinen immer weniger gute regionale Zeitungen? Fernab der Küsten und Metropolen. Der Rückzug der Qualitätszeitungen aus der Fläche (nicht nur in den USA) lässt viel Raum für rechte Verschwörungstheorien und beschädigt den sozialen Zusammenhalt der Gemeinden.
Ein Umstand, auf den Joshua Bolton in einem lesenswerten Beitrag für das Nieman Lab aufmerksam macht:
The factories shut down; the church pews were emptier than they used to be; the braided fabric of their towns had unraveled. Don’t forget that, particularly in smaller communities, the local newspaper was one of those key institutions — the daily or weekly package of stories that connected you to your neighbors.
Everyone knows that the business struggles of newspapers have stripped those institutions bare. But those struggles have not been evenly dispersed. As I’ve written about before, the shift from print to digital has concentrated the news business more than ever in New York, Washington, and a few other cities with oceanfront views. Of all the messages embedded in Trump’s rise, few are clearer than his voters’ belief that coastal elites are not serving their interests.
The rate of newspapers’ decline seems to be accelerating, not slowing, and the news potential of a Trump presidency will no doubt continue the shift in interest from local to national news.
What sort of news organizations can become a new kind of community backbone? There are some local news sites that play that role, but they’re also unevenly distributed — more common in college towns and well-off suburbs than in Trump country — and still small. Will the surviving national outlets think it worth their while to disperse their journalists over a larger geographic area? (...)
It’s been said that we get the media we deserve: that the journalism we see is a reflection of business structures and audience decisions, not the result of an elite’s decisions to shape public opinion. There’s a lot of truth to that. But the information we produce and consume is generated by human beings, not systems, and those human beings have just gotten the shock of their professional lives. If we’re going to build a better environment for news, we need to think about these issues in a much bigger context than one election night. And it’ll take everyone — journalists, readers, tech companies, and more — to make it happen.
Das Bürgerportal gehört zu den kleinen lokalen Medien, die sich genau das auf die Fahnen geschrieben hat: unabhängig und sauber zu berichte, was vor Ort Sache ist. In die ganze Breite der Gesellschaft hinein zu schauen und allen Initiativen, allen Stimmen, eine Plattform bieten.
Über den Erfolg entscheiden am Ende die Leser (und die lokalen Anzeigenkunden). Ob sie bereit sind, diese Arbeit regelmäßig zu unterstützen.