— Niran Al-Agba, MD, “How local news actually can make us healthier,” Kitsap Sun, 7 Mar. 2021, Print, 1C and 3C; Web,
Pediatrician and Kitsap Sun columnist Niran-Al-Agba, MD, writes a clear and useful column about health issues. This 7 March article talks of the importance of local news and of how having local newspapers available to us, with their reporters out in the community, affects our health.
As her article states:
“the greatest value of local news is to inform and empower citizens”
“without local news, citizens don’t have access to the information to hold government officials accountable, to hold other institutions accountable, and to be active, engaged citizens”
“research shows people lacking local news coverage will be less likely to express opinions about Congressional candidates—and therefore, less likely to vote”
She adds: “As newsrooms shrink, fewer reporters are subject matter experts on things like the environment, government, or healthcare.”
Quality matters, and professional newsrooms–with their editors and standards–help separate the true from the false, and they dig into the details. Newspapers enable discussion of competing interests and their reporters interview experts about issues of consequence. As Niran-Al-Agba comments, “In my opinion, the information you glean from your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is no substitute for quality, professional reporting.
Subscribing to local newspapers—print, online, or both—is an investment in accurate information’s availability, democracy’s strength, our community’s vibrancy, and, as Niran Al-Agba states—our health.