As we’ve been saying for a long time, communities suffer when their local newspaper shuts down operations.
Communities don’t just suffer from an absence of civic engagement, they also suffer financially, too. A recent story in CityLab writes that U.S. cities where newspapers closed up shop saw increases in government costs as a result of the lack of scrutiny over local deals, say researchers who tracked the decline of local news outlets between 1996 and 2015.
According to a research document: “disruptions in local news coverage are soon followed by higher long-term borrowing costs for cities. Costs for bonds can rise as much as 11 basis points after the closure of a local newspaper—a finding that can’t be attributed to other underlying economic conditions”.
Why does all this mean? Civic watchdogs make a difference to the bottom line.