Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Local or Not

What with several major dailies filing for bankruptcy, or closing their doors, salvation seems to be found in the local newspapers. Not so true for larger markets, like my adopted hometowns of the Twin Cities, where commercially viable options such as the Southwest Journal are shedding what few jobs they had. With the Star Tribune and Pi Press turning its still vast resources to "hyper" local newsgathering, they just can't compete.

I wonder where community radio will fall in this mix. In terms of audience, it's almost non existent, but it inspires a rabid following of listeners, and donors who want at least a semblance of pluralism on the airwaves. My philosophy as a news director was straightforward: I can't afford to send people to Gaza; send them to Minneapolis City Hall instead. With the growing immigrant and refugee communities in the Twin Cities, issues abroad took on local significance - and while we couldn't go to Mogadishu or Thailand, we could get inside a diaspora and try to explain what impact they were having.

In the global marketplace, of things as much as ideas, we are all connected. When (if?) I ever get back to local newsgathering, I'd like to put more effort into explaining its global influence, or how global influence is reaching into our neighborhoods. That's what's missing from local news.

1 comment:

Bill Lindeke said...

aah the good old days. i am right there with ya. there's an infinity of good stories in this here town.