Staff editorial: Why local news is important

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While the national headlines have been full of controversy, local news has been pushed to the side.

People are so caught up in national news that often times, the local news is forgotten. It’s not just local news that’s overlooked. Between national elections and local elections, more people pay attention to the national level.

The reality: local news impacts people more directly than national news.

People spend so much of their time and energy considering who they would like in the oval office every four years. They commit long hours to watching debates, reading articles and researching the candidate they might put at the top of the ballot. While this vote is very important, and must be thought through, it does not have nearly as much impact as a vote in a local election.

Instead of spending so much time focusing on the presidency, effort must be put into deciding who would be ideal in local positions. A vote for a city mayors or school board members has much more impact on the voter than their vote for a presidential candidate, and the only way to know who to vote for is to pay attention to local news.

Unfortunately, these local news outlets that cover the important events are dying out. The Kansas City Star is facing major budget cuts. The Shawnee Dispatch was bought out over a year ago and only have a staff of about five people. The only way the Shawnee Mission Post is surviving is because they charge people reading on their website, but even they’re struggling.

Why is this? It’s not necessarily that people don’t care, but local news may not be at the top of their radar.

A lot of the time, it feels like everything is happening at the national level. Everything is happening in Washington, D.C. or Hollywood. Between Trump’s administration and the sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood, no one seems to care about the news that’s happening in their city. The only local news that’s really made headlines recently is Gov. Sam Brownback resignation.

If you’d like hyperlocal, on campus news, then look no further than The Campus Ledger. We cover events from sports games and the flu season to profile pieces on students or staff.

For example, you’ve probably heard about the recent track protests that have been going on. The decision to end the running programs happened last spring. The Ledger covered the decision when it was made. The board of trustees might not have involved the public very well in that situation, but The Ledger published it. There was no backlash until nearly a year later when the funds had already been reallocated.

Despite the monotony of local government meetings, some of the most important and impactful conversations go on inside of them. The Ledger covers the monthly board of trustee meetings by live tweeting them, and they are broadcast on the college’s TV channel.

Keeping up with local news doesn’t take much. Follow news pages on Twitter or Facebook. You may not see something exciting everyday, but it’s so important to stay up-to-date with local news.

 

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