Analysts recognize that it is increasingly common for viewers to neglect local audiovisual information, that is, news generated and developed in their closest geographical environment. In fact, this type of content is one of the worst affected by the era of streaming on the screens, with the dominance of platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney.
However, media professionals remember that quality journalism continues to play a crucial role in democratic societies, those in which citizens are aware of what is happening in their respective communities. And, in this area, à la carte services cannot compete. At least for now.
According to a survey on communication trends prepared by the prestigious Pew Research Center, 64% of North American adults catch up on what is happening in their neighborhoods, municipalities and regions through television. A third of this group of citizens clearly prefers this medium, to the detriment of others, such as radio stations, printed publications, digital newspapers or social networks.
As the Pew Center technicians who wrote this study underlined, community journalism is essential in the structuring of groups, since it supplies them with concrete data and precise interpretations on all kinds of issues: from politics to security, from the economy to sports. In his opinion, this news is as relevant as the movies or series on the platforms for people to choose their lifestyle.
The latest premiere on Apple TV or the new sensation on HBO Max are first-rate entertainment tools, without a doubt, but, in the day-to-day of millions of human beings, their practical utility is infinitely less than the details about a municipal plenary session. or school board elections. Within the broad information spectrum, not even documentaries can fulfill this mission, experts emphasize.
Authoritative voices such as Yi-Ning Katherine Chen, from the National Chengchi University, in Taipei (Taiwan), come to the conclusion that, as in other times in history, the combination of fiction and local news allows us to understand in its complexity the great challenges and problems of the present: the housing shortage, educational reform, technological challenges, crime and a long etcetera.
In this regard, it is not a question of establishing a hierarchy between the offer, but of admitting that, without this journalistic coverage, people would end up disconnecting from current affairs and would make decisions of great importance without sufficient criteria. Even small companies benefit from this ecosystem, since if it did not exist, they would not be able to spread their advertising, because the big media are too expensive for them, as pointed out by American professors Umit Gurun (University of Texas at Dallas) and Alexander Butler. (Rice University).