Dustin Block at the Racine Post has written a commentary on the decline of the local newspaper and what to do about it. I won't quibble about what he has written, but I do think it is incomplete.
Dustin ignores the issue of the political ideology of the newspaper. Does this matter? I think it does.
Like it or not, there is a political divide in this country. This breaks down largely as a conservative/liberal or Democrat/Republican divide. People just see issues from different perspectives and this tends to impact a journalists work, whether consciously or unconsciously.
The vast majority of journalists for local newspapers (if the JT is any indication) tend to be liberals. The first order of business for a newspaper would be to recognize that fact and to recognize that they risk alienating or ignoring half of their potential customers. The obvious answer to this problem would be to actively seek out journalists that bring the perspective that is lacking. The JT has not done so and there is no indication that they even recognize the problem.
I suspect that Dustin also does not recognize the problem. For example, Dustin mentions health care a few times, suggesting that there should be local articles written about this national problem. Fair enough, but I have read several of Dustin's articles about health care problems and they tend to suggest that socialized medicine is the answer.
But does Dustin know that some people are greatly helped by Health Savings Accounts. Will we read that article in the Racine Post or the Racine Journal Times? I doubt it.
So I will make my story available to the Journal Times or the Racine Post. I can tell them how I save over ten thousand dollars every year. I can offer that local angle on a national issue, only it is not something that liberals like very much. Will either the Journal Times or the Racine Post put aside partisan ideology and write a story about HSA's? We shall see.