Local News Still Has Plenty of Clout, as Oregon Governor’s Scandal Shows

One of the predictions made many years ago was that regional and national media outlets will eventually make local reporting unnecessary as the Internet expands its reach. However, we find that the truth is the exact opposite as local news outlets are holding public figures accountable and getting results.

Local newspapers that offer an interactive and dynamic presence are taking on causes and talking to politicians that regional and national outlets are not interested in. People are still interested in what is going on in their local areas and it is the local digital media outlets that are providing the type of information needed to make a difference.

Taking Down A Governor

Former Oregon governor John Kitzhaber was elected and sworn-in with the usual fanfare that comes with a new governor taking their oath of office. But when it was becoming evident that the new governor had conflicts of interest that prevented him from doing his job effectively, none of the regional or national media outlets seemed to care.

However, a small Oregon media outlet in Portland called the Willamette Week uncovered the improprieties and was relentless in its pursuit of the truth. In the end, this small, local media outlet brought down the governor and Kitzhaber was forced to resign. It wasn’t until the former governor’s resignation that the bigger media outlets took notice, but they all had to go through the Willamette Week to get the details.

Project Veritas Cleans Up The Congressional Races

There were a lot of headlines in the federal congressional races of 2014, but the small stories that mattered to a lot of people were being ignored. A small media outlet called Project Veritas started producing videos of potential voter fraud in states like Arkansas and Colorado and those videos eventually led to recounts and changes in the election results. Bloomberg News even admitted that, if it were not for the local video coverage of fraud, those elections may not have truly represented the will of the people.

A Small Media Outlet Makes An Icy Difference

The Falleti Ice Arena in Batavia, NY was built using city funds and had run into a lot of administrative issues that ranged from inept management to the city not quite understanding what to do with the arena. As the arena became more of a fixture in the Batavia community, issues started to arise that the city was not responding to in any way. The Batavian is the local digital newspaper in Batavia, NY and it was the Batavian that pushed the city to stay in line with its decisions regarding the rink.

The Batavian reported on the public’s anger at risk management and that pushed the city to have a meeting. When the city started to toy with the idea of selling the rink despite the rink generating the city a profit, the Batavian would not let the story go away and helped to keep the public informed.

Local digital newspapers are there to report on issues that matter to local residents, but may not be so important to the larger news outlets. The United States is a big place and it is asking a lot for a few national media outlets to be able to cover every event. If you publish a local digital newspaper, then one of your keys to generating revenue and expanding your audience is to make a difference and show that local newspapers still have plenty of clout.

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