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Media companies are enormously powerful. They are the primary arbiters of information in our society.

 

But today most Americans believe the news media is dividing the country. That's not only bad for the republic, but it's making us miserable and distrustful of one another.

We believe with great power comes a responsibility for journalism to pursue a mission that not only includes the pursuit of truth but leads the cultivation of a stronger sense of local community.

THE STATE OF THE PRESS

How did things get so bad?

 

A key reason is the tragic ongoing decline of local news. The public has long trusted local news over any other source. But over the past two decades, local newspapers across the country have shuttered at the expense of a few national digital media companies detached from where Americans spend their time. That detachment holds those companies less accountable to reflecting the truth on the ground. Communities that lost valuable local news sources had little choice than to turn to national digital and cable news whose earnings are precisely derived from appealing to our worst selves. If it feels like all news is opinion nowadays, that's because it's cheaper for media companies to a hire a pundit to talk than it is to pay journalists to report. The result is a politically polarized media landscape that often caricatures our neighbors, reinforces group stereotypes, oversimplifies complex issues and is less reflective of Americans in real life.