Monday, December 02, 2019

Helping rural journalism helps democracy

When a rural newspaper publishes its last edition, a part of democracy dies with it. Local officials aren't held accountable, and that's just the beginning. Studies show that when a paper dies, fewer people run for office, fewer people vote, and more people vote along party lines because most news they see is on cable TV. That deepens the rural-urban political divide—a gap that grows as rural coverage shrivels. More than 500 rural weeklies have closed in the last 15 years, and metro papers do much less rural coverage.

But you can help bridge the gap by donating to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, publisher of The Rural Blog. We work hard all year to help rural journalists all over the U.S. with training sessions, news aggregation, resources and recognition.

Sharon Burton
Sharon Burton, editor and publisher of the Adair County Community Voice in Columbia, Ky., is a longtime ally of the Institute. She writes: "While listening to speakers during a recent workshop co-hosted by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, I thought about how much we rural journalists need each other. We learn from one another; we realize we are not alone when we share with one another. The Institute does many things for rural journalists, but perhaps its most important role is helping us help one another."

Please support the Institute for Rural Journalism today. Your tax-deductible gift helps us continue creating a community of rural journalists nationwide.

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