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Journalists Speak: Why Local Media Matters, an online forum

Ed Ronco

A panel of six local journalists will discuss why having a robust local news media is important for our region in an online discussion April 8.

The Grand Traverse Bay area has a considerable local media presence for a region its size — local newspapers, radio, television, online outlets, and more.

But nationally, local news is in trouble.

From late 2019 through May of 2022, 360 newspapers ended production. That's according to a report from the Medill School at Northwestern University.

The same study showed that the United States will have lost a third of its newspapers by the year 2025.

Newspapers are only one medium of many that provide local news, but they've long been a bellwether of the strength of local journalism. They are often the outlets devoting the most energy to watchdog journalism and original reporting.

So why is it important that local news survive? And here in northern Michigan, what's being done to see that it does?

An online forum at 10 a.m. on April 8 will examine those questions through the perspectives of six local journalists:

  • Victoria Alfonseca, editor of GTB News
  • John Elchert, publisher of the Leelanau Enterprise
  • Mardi Link, enterprise reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle
  • Jillian Manning, editor of the Northern Express
  • Jacob Wheeler, editor of the Glen Arbor Sun
  • David Zeman, senior editor for Bridge Michigan

Ed Ronco, news director at Interlochen Public Radio, will moderate the conversation, which will be held virtually, on Zoom.

Click here to register.

The forum is presented by Leelanau Indivisible and the League of Women Voters of Leelanau County.

Corrected: April 8, 2023 at 7:19 AM EDT
This post has been updated to correct David Zeman's job title.
Ed Ronco is IPR's news director.