We are not the people who win Pulitzers. In fact, if we’re lucky our stories reach thousands of people not hundreds of thousands. We are not the ones they make films about and we might be behind you in the post office line.
We don’t cover your community, we are part of it.
Local journalism is the community
Look at the headlines of any local west los angeles news rag, or your own local paper, and what you see there is life writ small. We cover life and death, crime and politics, graduations and girl scouts. It is the life of a smaller place lived at a (hopefully) slower pace.
Life on the big stage
Some journalists might aspire to the nationals. We are the experience they need before they move up to Washington or New York City. But they are the exception, not the rule. Most of us will remain in relatively small papers covering relatively small beans.
But you need the local paper
There’s a paradox involved because although we cover the things that the big papers would not consider for a moment, the things that hit our pages actually do impact your life on a day to day basis.
In terms of direct relevance, the local paper has the nationals beaten, except perhaps in an election or a war, and we’d cover that from a local angle too.
It is the local papers who cover the council meetings, the latest police figures, the burst pipe that has the center of downtown closed and who covered that girl from the high-school winning the 100m at the athletics meeting. You knew her when she was little, remember?
It’s worth keeping in touch with the local paper, mostly because it is in touch with you.