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Guest Post: LOCAL NEWSPAPERS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE ?

This is a guest post from King William Tea Party activist Bob Shannon:

LOCAL NEWSPAPERS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE ?

In a Barron’s news story of the July 30 edition author Mary Childs examines the impact of newspaper closings on municipal bond fund investors, the study showing in localities with little or no local newspaper coverage the investor and the taxpayer are likely to get hurt with higher costs.

The central theme was however what caught my attention. Childs goes into several studies that have been done to document what impact local government has when there is scant news coverage of what local government is up to.

When local papers close it costs local government money, according to a paper presented at the 2018 Municipal Finance Conference at the Brookings Institute”

Why does this happen? The author speculates it’s because, without local papers, there’s less information available to the public. Officials in local government have no one playing the role of watchdog.

The loss of monitoring that results from newspaper closures is associated with increased government inefficiencies , including higher likelihoods of costly advance refundings and negotiated issues, and higher government wages, employee, and tax revenues according to the author. Any of this starting to resonate with you yet ?

We are fortunate that King William has two newspapers ( 3 if you count the King William Local). Is reporting on what happens in King William government balanced ? It is a fair question to ask.

My own observations is that the reporting lacks balance. We get news on local government that leaves out what I would call “ the other side”. Limited resources alone might explain it. Perhaps a lack of intellectual curiosity might be partially responsible. What I do know is that there is a missing ingredient, and that is a conservative perspective. The local coverage lacks any critical analysis on what local government is spending , why it is spending it to begin with ,and certainly the long term impact it will have on the citizens in terms of taxes.

Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has an ongoing feasibility examination of what can be done about correcting this. As the only conservative voice in the County we are considering a Monthly Newsletter, sent out to all County residents at no charge. If we can successfully launch this Monthly Newsletter the citizens of King William will have a genuine keen eye reporting what isn’t reported. It doesn’t matter why , it only matters that someone is trying to do something about it.

Bob Shannon Founder King William T.E.A Party ( Taxed Enough Already )

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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