Yes, nothing has replaced local newspapers’ importance

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Rachel Maddow’s Forum piece, “Buy the Local Paper” (Jan. 19), was the best case of promotion the Post-Gazette could have wished for. After numerous examples of the importance of local journalistic efforts, Ms. Maddow gets to the heart of the issue in the last three paragraphs, starting with this: “Our democracy depends on local journalism.”

When we are all busy beating up on the media and lumping it into one big, nasty category, we ought to sit back, take a deep breath and think about that for a minute. “Our democracy depends on local journalism.” There is a reason the Constitution protects the Fourth Estate. Not the media-as-entertainment nonsense that depends on the latest Kardashian silliness, but the local reporters who dog politicians, government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, police departments and others who hold sway over our daily lives. This isn’t abstract stuff that trickles down in some convoluted way. This is where we live.

As Ms. Maddow concludes, subscribing to your local paper is a civic virtue. She couldn’t be more correct. It may not be the “in” thing, but so far, nothing — nothing — has replaced its importance in the community.


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