Welcome to the conversation

From Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, welcome to “What Works: The Future of Local News,” hosted by former Boston Globe editor Ellen Clegg and Northeastern’s Dan Kennedy. Local journalism, the bedrock of democracy, is in crisis. Ellen and Dan talk to journalists, policymakers and entrepreneurs about the work they’re doing to keep local news alive. Corporate chains and hedge funds are squeezing the life out of local news. There is a better way, and Ellen, Dan and their guests are telling that story.

📡 Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
📡 Subscribe on Spotify
📡 Subscribe on Pocket Casts

Graphics: Alison Booth
Music: “WOW!,” by Promiser

Episode 1: Oct. 5, 2021

There’s been a lot of reporting over the last couple of years that local journalism is in crisis, a death spiral. There’s certainly some truth to that. As we’ve written on this blog and elsewhere, one study at the University of North Carolina found that some 2,100 community newspapers had stopped publishing since 2004, leaving the country with large geographic “news deserts,” areas that no longer have any local news source. If it’s your town budget or city council election that’s going uncovered, it starts to undercut your ability to understand your own community.

In our very first podcast, Dan interviews Massachusetts state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, a Marblehead Democrat who co-sponsored legislation to launch a commission to study the future of local news in the Commonwealth. (Note: Dan will be a member of the commission.) Ehrlich lays out her vision, and underscores the role that local journalism plays in a democracy. Dan and Ellen share a few quick takes on the news. For the moment, new episodes will post every month. We hope to increase our frequency in short order, however. There are so many stories to tell.

🎧 Listen here.