Source: Politico Magazine, December 18, 2016
…The Pew Research Center’s “State of the Media 2016” paints a grim picture for most serious news organizations. Advertising revenue is down; staffs continue to get cut; the number of newspapers has declined by 100 since 2004. Between 2003 and 2014, with the decline of the printed press, the number of professional statehouse reporters dropped 35 percent. Professional local beat reporters are also a dying breed.
These figures, trained in basic journalistic principles, were locally known and trusted. They could be found in bars and local schools and acted as the human link between statehouses, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. population. They were seen as local heroes. (Jimmy Stewart often played truth-obsessed newspaper reporters in films, like the 1948 thriller Call Northside 777.) But today, these popular role models and societal links are gone, and with them, a trusted filter within civil society – the sort of filter that can say with authority to fellow local citizens that fake news is not only fake, it is also potentially deadly.