Local journalism needs to stay alive, cover what national media can’t

September 26, 2016

Scribe Staff

     Local organizations are undervalued and underrated. These are what provide us with the resources and information we need to read between the lines of our city and our schools.

     This includes small, local journalism. It’s easy for us to go online and read whatever headline is trending on Twitter or Facebook, but that’s typically national news.

     While national news such as police shootings and riots impact us and our moral standings greatly, it’s important to know what’s happening in neighborhoods five or 15 miles away from us.

     If we’re too focused on looking at our country, or even Colorado Springs from an overall perspective, we miss important details that make cities, states and the U.S. what it is today.

     A questionnaire conducted in 2015 by Poynter.org asked everyday people if they think local journalism matters and why.

     One respondent answered, “local stations are not just about the weather and road conditions. Those are helpful things to know, but they are not the real heart of what local stations provide.”

     “They provide the color of the areas around you; things you might not notice otherwise, but which may be important for your daily life.”

     Sometimes, a student’s voice in a student newspaper, or a Monument, Color. resident’s opinion is what creates small changes, which can then lead to positive change for the city, state or country overall.

     National media outlets are good at telling us what they want us to believe are the biggest stories. But the people who truly make a change are the locals: they observe and understand why our culture and society is structured a certain way, they are the roots of informing our community on what’s happening.

     On a smaller scale, college campuses have newspapers because large companies like The Gazette don’t have the staff or time to write about what may seem like small issues.

     We’re here because we want to inform students about what’s going on around them and about the institution they’re paying thousands of dollars to attend.

     It’s important to keep local journalism alive because media monopolies won’t always report on what’s different about smaller communities.

     Skeptics like to say that journalism is a dead profession, and this is understandable. Many publications are moving to a digital medium since the majority of their readers are constantly engaged with their smart devices.

     But it is the physical, paper copy of a newspaper that still brings excitement to audiences all over the country, and even the world. The physical feeling of holding a freshly printed paper, feeling the ink of your hands and reading the week’s breaking news can’t be beat.

     This feeling is unfortunately taken away from us when big media move in and impose their policies and styles on the stories that students and other community members can read.

     We consume media everyday whether we know it or not. Local stories are what keep us connected within the Colorado Springs and UCCS community. It’s important to feel a sense of togetherness in a world where it seems as though we are constantly divided.

     We can’t allow local publications to lose their traction.

     Whether we realize it or not, we are connected to each other as students and members of the community when serious events happen. But we would not be informed of these if it weren’t for local newspapers.