From the President of RUSA: Libraries and Local News: Expanding Journalism, Another User Service Grounded in Reference

Chris LeBeau

Abstract


Always on the prowl for new user services, I was intrigued by a program held at my local public library in 2009 called “Democracy and Decline in Local Reporting.” The topic has stuck with me ever since. At the time, our city’s newspaper was experiencing severe financial challenges, which residents found alarming. With newspapers across the country in similar straits, the library assembled a panel to discuss alternatives for gathering and distributing local news to communities. Nearly ten years later, the situation has not improved much for local community news coverage. Thinking back to that library panel, I’ve decided to further investigate the impacts of, and possible solutions for, this problem. This piece attempts to reinvigorate a news initiative and promote a user service that has foundations in traditional reference. It is a service that offers opportunities for both public and academic libraries. The initiative is a community-centric public service centered on news.


Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Paul Gillin, “Bad News on the Doorstep,” Newspaper Death Watch (blog), November 3, 2016, http://newspaperdeathwatch.com/index.php?s=bad+news+on+the+doorstep.

Mathew Ingram, “TV Watching Is in Decline, but News Consumption Is Booming,” Fortune, April 3, 2017, http://fortune.com/2017/04/03/nielsen-news-report/.

Jeffrey Gottfried and Elisa Shearer, “Fact Tank: Americans’ Online News Use Is Closing In on TV News Use,” Pew Center Research, September 7, 2017, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/07/americans-online-news-use-vs-tv-news-use/.

Katerina Eva Matsa, “Fact Tank: Fewer Americans Rely on TV News; What Type They Watch Varies by Who They Are,” Pew Research Center, January 5, 2018, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/05/fewer-americans-rely-on-tv-news-what-type-they-watch-varies-by-who-they-are/.

Derek Thompson, “The Print Apocalypse and How to Survive It,” The Atlantic, November 3, 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/the-print-apocalypse-and-how-to-survive-it/506429/.

Benjamin Toff, “United States,” in Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2017, ed. Nic Newman et al. (Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2017), 102, http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/survey/2017/united-states-2017/.

Danny Hayes and Jennifer Lawless, “The Decline of Local News and Its Effects: New Evidence from Longitudinal Data,” The Journal of Politics October 18, no. 1 (2017): 332–336, https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/694105.

Joanne Penn “How Do Newspapers Affect Civic Life? Data and Analysis on Seattle and Denver,” Journalists Resource, March 11, 2014, https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/news-media/how-do-newspapers-affect-civic-life-data-analysis-seattle-denver.

Suzanne M. Kirchhoff, “The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition,” Congressional Research Service, July 8, 2009, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40700.pdf.

Nikki Usher, “Funding Public Media: How the US Compares to the Rest of the World,” Nieman Lab, March 11, 2011, http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/03/funding-public-media-how-the-us-compares-to-the-rest-of-the-world/.

Nic Newman, “United Kingdom,” in Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2017, 54, http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/survey/2017/united-kingdom-2017/.

Howard Husock, “Post Everything: Public Broadcasting Shouldn’t Get a Handout from Taxpayers Anymore,” Washington Post (blog), March 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/17/public-broadcast-has-outlived-its-mandate-time-to-justify-its-government-subsidy/?utm_term=.8492f05b3855.

Tony Rogers, “Why Bloggers Can’t Replace the Work of Professional Journalists,” Thoughtco.com, August 25, 2017, https://www.thoughtco.com/bloggers-professional-journalists-2074116.

Alaskans First, August 17, 2017, comment on Craig Medred, “Newspaper Death Watch,” Craig Medred (blog), August 17, 2017, https://craigmedred.news/2017/08/17/newspaper-death-watch/#comment-11280.

Barbara Jones, “Is the Line between Librarianship and Journalism Blurring?” American Libraries, July 27, 2011, https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2011/07/27/is-the-line-between-librarianship-and-journalism-blurring/.

Alison Marcotte, “Community Reporting: Libraries Partner with Students, Nonprofit to Bring Local Information to ‘News Deserts,’” American Libraries, May 31, 2016, https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/05/31/community-reporting/.

Courtney Wolfe, “Small-Town Librarian Creates Community Newspaper,” Programming Librarian, February 21, 2018, http://www.programminglibrarian.org/articles/small-town-librarian-creates-community-newspaper.

David Beard, “The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life,” The Atlantic, January 28, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/libraries-local-news/551594/.

David Beard, “Can Libraries Save the Local News?” Citylab, January 29, 2018, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/01/libraries-local-news/551783/.

John B. Horrigan, “Americans’ Attitudes Toward Public Libraries,” Pew Research Center, September 9, 2016, http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/09/09/americans-attitudes-toward-public-libraries/.

Abigail Geiger, “Most Americans—Especially Millennials—Say Libraries Can Help Them Find Reliable, Trustworthy Information,” Pew Research Center, August 30, 2017, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/30/most-americans-especially-millennials-say-libraries-can-help-them-find-reliable-trustworthy-information/.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.57.4.6698

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


ALA Privacy Policy

© 2021 RUSA