Times2 – Stop press: the sad decline of local newspapers, by Richard Morrison

Why should you care? The answer is that there will be even fewer newspapers around in future with the resources to investigate incompetent or corrupt councils, campaign against hospital closures or over-reaching developers, put a rocket up the backsides of police forces never seen patrolling bad estates, celebrate local achievements, or simply chronicle the warp and weft of British life in all its glorious, dotty multiplicity. In other words, the diminution of regional journalism will be another nail in the coffin of that thing we call “community”

Well, if I might offer my own American experience, the community newspapers are full of a bunch of half-rate hacks who couldn’t make it at the national papers so take their meager positions at local ones in order to still write about national matters. They don’t care about the community, they didn’t take their jobs in order to write about the community, and if the corrupt council is burning down the hospital to make room for over-reaching developers while the police build security barriers around bad estates right in front of them, they still wouldn’t write on it.

We picked up the Queen Anne News last week, which is so local it’s only for this particular hill in the city, and basically exists as a glorified real estate rag, and its editorial was all about the blatant lies and criminal accountancy of the Bush Administration’s new Federal Budget Proposal. In the Queen Anne News! I’m sure if he keeps writing those devastating editorials, it’ll only be a matter of time before the New York Times recognizes their error in never returning his letters and offer him a position right away!