Another One Bites the Dust
Media consolidation is continuing to become a problem in Maryland. The Washington Post is closing the Montgomery and Prince George’s County editions of the Gazette Newspapers.
This is an unfortunate development to say this least. The Gazettes may have been relegated to local papers, but it yes to be a powerhouse in political journalism in Annapolis and around the states. To see more papers covering local and state politics go under is bad for all Marylanders.
But this shouldn’t be a surprise to readers of Red Maryland. We’ve been covering journalism consolidation for a while now, between fewer independent outlets and the abandoning of Annapolis by the Associated Press.
And it’s not something that’s just a concern of Republicans. Democrats are lamenting the loss of journalism, too:
A county of over 1 million people and no newspaper to service them. Sad. https://t.co/1Qoi1He3NB
— Kirill Reznik (@DelegateReznik) June 12, 2015
It’s also a driving force between the creation of our Citizen News Project, where we recruit local citizen journalists to cover local stories in their communities. It’s going to be incumbent upon online outlets such as ours (including our one current Montgomery County contributor, Tanzi Strafford) to pick up the slack where companies like the Washington Post are sticking it to communities such as Montgomery County.
It also may take finding the resources, yes even the financial capital, to mount a serious challenge to the big boys of journalism. It can be done. In Alaska (which is obviously a much smaller market), the Alaska Dispatch launched solely as an online news site devoted to covering local news that was no longer covered by Alaska’s paper of record. The Anchorage Daily News. Last April, the Alaska Dispatch purchased the Anchorage Daily News, and the paper is now known as the Alaska Dispatch News.
The news world is changing. Not necessarily for the better. We’re gonna need to come up with new solutions and new ways of ensuring that watchdogs continue to exist in the future. Or else we’re all in a lot of trouble…..