The Role of Regional Journalism in Escaping Mainstream News


Mainstream media centers report on issues which matter to the nation. Regional and smaller scale news operations provide insights into the lives and times of the people of that nation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regional journalism gets small town stories heard
  • Without individuals reporting crimes could go unnoticed
  • Small scale newspapers, channels, and online platforms, accurately reflect daily lives
  • Mainstream news organizations are profit driven

In the digital age, people increasingly turn to social media for their daily news. This shift from traditional newspapers to digital distribution opens the world of journalism. The single individual can now record and post from anywhere in the world. This on-the-action social media sharing style has brought news stories to light that would not have surfaced 2 decades ago. 

Small Scale Journalism is Changing the World

This individual and small-scale news reporting shift has enlightened the globe. Thanks to this newly emerged style, the public could see the damage wrought against Ukraine. They could see the bombs fall on Syria. They watched the floods in Pakistan and the wildfires in California. Regional journalism brings on-the-ground reporting as incidents happen. 

Without this new way of receiving news, major mainstream media corporations would not know that these news issues existed. Without platforms like Lea County news or the Tennessean we would not have the same human interest stories we have now. Mainstream media borrows heavily from the smaller scale news operations in America. The problem with breaking news to the big news providers, is that it is profit driven. Whoever breaks the story first gets the views. Whoever gets the views, gets the backing of their channel. 

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Regional news does not have that same profit-focused drive. Often, small town reporters live on a meagre salary, reflected by the sales of their paper. Regional reporting organizations make money from local advertisers. Small town businesses place adverts in small town newspapers to increase their brand reach. This is yet another way in which mainstream media organizations let us down. The only brands likely to afford a spot in a national paper are already household names. 

How Regional Journalism Helps Readers Escape Mainstream News

By providing this secondary option for regional news instead of national and international reporting, readers learn more about the immediate area they live in. This style of news is better for the reader’s mental health, since it does not expose them to worldwide problems that they can do nothing about. It is no wonder, then, that thousands upon thousands of Americans are turning to this style of reporting every year. 

Smaller news helps the reader or viewer escape the larger national problems which can negatively impact our wellbeing. It allows us to still receive the news, but with less of a threat attached to it. It is a calmer approach to highlighting the ways we live and the newly emerged stories that come with that life. It is altogether less forceful than the larger news company reports. Best of all, with 90% of all news channels owned by the same 6 companies, it lets you escape the profiteering of mass media.

Although mainstream reporting counts on smaller operations for its stories, the two are mutually beneficial. Once the big brand media companies tune in, their reporters can attract international attention to the small-town plight. The disconnect between mainstream reporting and small-time agencies is therefore not always a bad thing. 

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