“Reinvigorating Local News,” from News Hole: The Demise of Local News and Political Engagement – and What We Can Do about It (co-authored with Danny Hayes).
Please arrive 5 minutes before event begins.
Local news is dying – and publishers are struggling financially – because many consumers, given other options, have stopped paying attention to it. Accordingly, any long-term solution to the industry’s financial crisis must include reinvigorating Americans’ demand for local public affairs content. We suggest a demand-side approach that capitalizes on the fact that many Americans actually have favorable attitudes toward local news and local politics – at least in the abstract. Drawing on decades of research across the social sciences, we argue that exposing Americans to messages that activate these positive attitudes can boost their interest in and consumption of local news. This is more than an academic (no offense) prospect. We rely on survey data, survey experiments, and two exit polls to demonstrate that one route to boosting (or at least stabilizing) audiences for local news could be a communication effort that reminds people of the importance of local government and local community. That would not only help local news outlets’ bottom line, but would also give them a financial incentive to provide the kind of local public affairs coverage that is essential for democracy to work.
Date: 13 November 2020, 16:00 (Friday, 5th week, Michaelmas 2020)
Venue: Colloquium to be hosted on Zoom
Speaker: Jennifer Lawless (University of Virginia)
Organising department: Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR)
Organisers: Petra Schleiter (DPIR), Nelson Ruiz (University of Oxford)
Part of: Politics Research Colloquium
Booking required?: Not required
Booking email: events@politics.ox.ac.uk
Audience: This colloquium is usually a closed event to members of Oxford, but this Michaelmas Term, we are delighted to be able to open this event to external attendees. Please email events@politics.ox.ac.uk to book your place using your official University email address. (If you are a member of Oxford, email us, and you can be added to the Politics Research Colloquium mailing list, you do not need to book your place and joining details will be emailed to you).
Editor: Hannah Vinten