Editorial: Don’t go offline, connect to your local news media | Editorial

To find out what’s happening in your community, pay more attention to the news, not less.

Americans are turning away from media coverage, especially among younger residents. The consequences will weaken communities.

The national hostilities that escalated during the 2016 presidential election did not seem to wane. Politicians branded information they disliked “fake news” and bad actors flooded social media with real fake facts.

This has people confused, and many choose to walk away from all the news rather than sort through it. This approach increases ignorance and isolation from civic life. It gives the mighty power unchecked.

It is particularly harmful at the local level where policies and decision-making have direct impacts on daily life.

Earlier this month, Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that younger Democrats drive a huge drop in national news consumption. It’s the first time since 2018 that Democrats have said they’re less interested in national news than Republicans and independents.

All political groups show a decline in interest in national news over the past year, with Democrats falling the most. Only 34% of Democrats say they pay a lot of attention to national news in 2021, down from 69% in November 2020.