Local News

State Politicians Concerned About Journalism In Illinois

Illinois and the nation are in the midst of a local journalism crisis, with news outlets closing or shrinking at an alarming rate. State Senator Steve Stadelman and the members of the Local Journalism Task Force spent the last year studying the decline of local journalism and outlined its findings and policy recommendations at a news conference Wednesday.



Stadelman – a former TV news anchor – chaired the Local Journalism Task Force. Representatives from media, academia, and government met nearly a dozen times throughout the previous calendar year to study the decline of local media, its impact on democracy, and potential policy changes that could increase revenue to newsrooms across the state.


Hearing from several experts from across both the state and nation, the task force saw a common theme: independent local news reporting is vital and the lack of it is dangerous to the health of our democracy.


According to the Medill research, the Chicago area is among the 20 U.S. metro areas with the highest loss of news sources per capita. Yet the decline in rural parts of the state is even worse.


With its findings, the task force outlined several policy recommendations, including subscription tax credits, grant programs, fellowships, and more.


Stadelman plans to bring forth legislation this session to improve the financial situations of local newsrooms.

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