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A different take on local news and democracy

36 minutes

Local news and democracy have been intertwined since the days of Alexis de Tocqueville. As we've discussed on this show before, news outlets are one way that people who live in a city or town keep up on what's happening in their local government. However, our guest this week argues the "watchdog" effect of local journalism might be overstated, along with the correlation between local news consumption and political participation.

Nikki Usher is an associate professor in the College of Media at the University of Illinois and author of News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism.  In the book and in this conversation, Usher recasts the challenges facing journalism in terms of place, power, and inequality. She questions longstanding beliefs about the relationship between local news and civic engagement and separates observed behavior from myths about American democracy and the media's role within it. 

This conversation originally appeared on New Books in Journalism, part of the New Books Network.

Additional Information

News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism

New Books Network

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Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
33:55