Margaret M. Sullivan is an American journalist, media columnist for The Washington Post, chief editor of the Buffalo News, and author of the book Ghosting The News.
Since 2004, more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business. 'Washington Post' media columnist Margaret Sullivan talks about the decline of local news coverage, a crisis she says is as serious as the spread of disinformation on the internet. Her new book is 'Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'She Dies Tomorrow.'
There’s been a lot of discussion lately — including on this show — of the problems facing national news. Cries of fake news, illiberalism in the administration, fractured audiences, the cancel culture debate, shaky business models, and more. But the truest crisis in news isn’t in national news. It’s in local news. American newspapers cut 45 percent of newsroom staff between 2008 and 2017. From 2004 to 2015, the U.S. newspaper industry lost over 1,800 print outlets to closures and mergers. And it’s only gotten worse since then. This is truest crisis in American news media: That so many places are losing the institutions that gather the news, that bind the community together, that hold public officials accountable ands bring public concerns visibility. Vast swaths of the country are now news deserts — and it’s happening at the same time that the average news consumer feels like they’re drowning in more information than ever before.Margaret Sullivan was the award-winning chief editor of the Buffalo News, then the public editor of the New York Times, and now the media columnist for the Washington Post. She’s also the author of Ghosting The News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy. This is a conversation about the economic, technological, and political forces that led to the devastation of local news; what happens to communities in the absence of health local news institutions; and, just as importantly, what we can do to save and revitalize local journalism.Book recommendations:Democracy’s Detectives by James T. HamiltonStill Here by Alexandra Jacobs Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir by Joyce JohnsonWant to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.comPlease consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide ( - Jeff GeldResearcher in chief - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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1 hour, 40 minutes
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