A Guide to Assessing Your Local News Ecosystem
A step-by-step toolkit to help you gather the information you need to fund local news and information in your community.
Local news is in crisis. The internet forever changed the business model for media, and the impact on local news — and by extension our democracy — has been startling. Since 2004, more than 1,300 American communities have lost local newspaper coverage. This loss of local news has lead to lower civic participation, lower voter turnout in elections, fewer people running for local office, and less oversight of those in power.
At Democracy Fund, we believe philanthropy has a key role in supporting healthy local news and information. Not by parachuting in to help “save” local news… but by listening, and learning how to support an entire local ecosystem.
No matter how big or small your organization, you have a role to play in making the ecosystem stronger.
This guide is designed to introduce some of the ideas and options and help you find a path to understanding your own community’s news and information ecosystem.