Date of Graduation
Reed College of Media
On August 31, 2019, the local newspaper of Youngstown, Ohio, The Vindicator, ceased publication after 150 years. The Vindicator’s closure left Youngstown as the largest city in the United State without a major newspaper. As local newspaper closures become more and more common across communities, there are questions on how, and if, the coverage and content those newspaper provide to their communities can be replaced or will simply be lost forever. This study has three research questions. Question one pertains to the amount of original reporting that will exist without The Vindicator. Questions two asks about the amount of locally focused content that will be produced without The Vindicator. Question three asks how news outlets that continue to publish following The Vindicator’s closure will fulfil the community’s critical information needs (CIN). To answer these questions, a content analysis was conducted comparing a constructed week from the final six months of The Vindicator’s existence compared to a week-long sample of five news outlets that continue to publish in the Youngstown area following The Vindicator’s closing. Content from all six publications were coded for original reporting, local focus and fulfilling the community’s critical information needs. The results from this content analysis show that, by themselves, none of the examined outlets would be able to replace The Vindicator on their own. However, when viewing all five outlets together, there still exists a robust local media ecology in Youngstown following The Vindicator’s closing.
Nespor, Cody David, "The Effect of Newspaper Closure on Local Media Ecology" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7557.