Democracy Dies In Darkness

The Washington Post motto, “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” may seem a bit melodramatic, but is an apt description of the disaster unfolding in communities across the U.S. and Arkansas, as newspapers close or shrink.

This unfolding tragedy becomes especially noticeable this week (March 10-16) as journalists and open-government advocates mark Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week has been observed annually since 2005 to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate for the Bill of Rights.

Whatever you think about newspapers or the hardworking, underpaid journalists they employ, the decades-long decline of hometown newspapers is creating what researchers call “news deserts” – towns, counties and even larger areas that no longer have regular local coverage of events and issues that affect real people.



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