“Objective and Honest” Local News is still vital to Our Community


Fake newsBy Mike Sparks

Bob Dylan once said, “They Times They are A-Changin.”
The times certainly are changing in the area of locals news. The distrust of the media today remains high.

According to Gallup research the question was first asked in 1972 and has continued to do so nearly every year since 1997. Trust ranged between 68% and 72% in the 1970s, and though it had declined by the late 1990s, it remained at the majority level until 2004, when it dipped to 44%. After hitting 50% in 2005, it has not risen above 47%.

Many may not know that the in the U.S. the media is controlled by five corporations (oligopoly), headquartered mostly in New York, control the vast majority of market share in the traditional media industry (radio, television, movies, books, music).

While five corporations, mainly headquartered in California, control most market share in the tech media industry—social media, internet search, online distribution.

  • 9% in U.S. trust mass media “a great deal” and 31% “a fair amount”
  • 27% have “not very much” trust and 33% “none at all”
  • The percentage with no trust at all is a record high, up five points since 2019
    “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful,” ~ Edward R. Murrow



Journalists nationwide have suffer countless layoffs, furloughs, and closures to in the United States. The pandemic has only made it worse.

According to a recent article published in The Richfield Reader for some people, the idea of a newspaper may seem old-fashioned.

After all, in the information age anything someone may want to view rests just a few keystrokes away … or is it?

Local newspapers still perform a vital function in the communities they cover.

While much of people’s news consumption comes from blogs, politically charged websites, Facebook or Twitter or partisan cable news channels, none of those sources are committed to covering local issues and events.
The fact is the majority of the legitimate news content people read online originates from newspapers or broadcasters.

Much of the revenue generated by websites is based on the number of page views and clicks, which means there is pressure to provide content people are more likely to view.

This means locally driven content takes a back seat to clickbait, such as the use of targeted stories, promises of risqué pictures of celebrities and the slideshow format features that require multiple clicks to get through to the conclusion of the story.

The thing that separates information presented in a newspaper or its website is that there is a higher degree of accountability. If someone doesn’t like what The Reaper prints, or how it covered a certain issue, they are welcome to give us a call, or visit our office and discuss it in person, face-to-face.

A tangible page one can hold in his or her hand carries with it a commitment to fairness and accuracy.
Sometimes, that means challenging the readers by providing what they need instead of just what they want. Many times, people neglect the information they need in favor of the entertainment they enjoy, like a child skipping the green beans to eat dessert.

That doesn’t mean a newspaper is always going to get it right, and it certainly doesn’t mean readers are always going to agree with how a paper does its job. However, what it does mean is that real people in a local office are on hand and willing to take accountability for what is printed or posted online.

Local papers also remain the key news gatherers in any community. If you want to know what the Sevier County Commission is doing, or what the Richfield, Monroe or Salina city councils talk about in their meetings, the local paper is still the place to find it.

To Read the Full Article in The Richfield Reader See: https://richfieldreaper.com/news/20834/local-news-is-still-vital/