Local newspapers play vital roles in communities across the globe. The Information Age has changed the way many people get their news, but local newspapers continue to serve as valuable resources for readers interested in learning more about and becoming more involved in their communities.
While local publishers continue to adapt to the changes brought about by technology, the following are a handful of benefits unique to local newspapers.
- Local newspapers keep readers up-to-date on their own communities. Globalization may be here to stay, but that does not mean local communities are no longer home to newsworthy events. National and international newspapers and 24-hour cable news channels can keep men and women up-to-date on national and world news, but in many instances, local newspapers are the only means people have to learn about what’s going on in their own communities. Local politics impact residents’ lives every day, and local newspapers cover local politics extensively.
- Local newspapers benefit nearby businesses. Small business owners often connect with community members via local newspapers. A strong, locally based small business community can improve economies in myriad ways, creating jobs in the community and contributing tax dollars that can be used to strengthen local schools and infrastructure. And local newspapers do their part by providing affordable and effective advertising space to local business owners looking to connect with their communities.
- Local newspapers can strengthen communities. Local newspapers are great resources for residents who want to become more active in their communities and learn more about community events. Local newspapers often showcase community events like carnivals, local theater productions and projects like park cleanups. These are great ways for readers to become more active in their communities and build stronger communities as a result.
- Local newspapers can benefit children. National newspapers may have little age-appropriate content to offer young children, but local newspapers tend to include more soft news items than national periodicals, and such stories typically are appropriate for young readers. According to Newspapers in Education, students who participated in an NIE group in Florida performed significantly better in spelling and vocabulary than nonreaders. Additional studies have indicated that students who use newspapers in the classroom perform better on standardized reading tests than those who do not use newspapers in class.
Many local newspapers have played vital roles in their communities for decades, providing a go-to resource for local readers and business owners.