There’s plenty to consider about the role debate moderators and political commentators play in effectively informing the American electorate. But it’s also worth considering the role local journalism plays in serving its portions of that same electorate. People tend to trust local news more than national news, as a 2018 Poynter survey indicated. Trust plays a foundational role in effectively distributing public-service information, putting local journalists in powerful positions to shape their audience’s civic engagement. Local journalists wield their power most effectively when they offer their audiences something exclusive: localized angles.
On Tuesday night, as viewers across the country tuned in to the CNN-New York Times Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio, a few journalists in that state capitalized on their geographic access to the debate and their proximity to candidate talking points by offering their audiences fact-checks and careful context. Cincinnati Enquirer reporters Jessie Balmert and Jackie Borchardt fact-checked a list of claims made by candidates about Ohio, from Julian Castro’s lament that Ohioans were losing jobs under Trump (employment rates have steadily grown and since 2010) to Yang’s assertion that Ohio prescribed more opioids than it had people (that checks out).
Other local publications beyond Ohio took advantage of their own resources and considered their audience in different ways. The Des Moines Register, located in an early primary state, tweeted a link to their Candidate Tracker, which aggregates relevant caucus headlines and upcoming public appearances by all the candidates. Michigan reporter Malachi Barrett wrote for MLive about the United
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/democratic-debate-local-news.php