Local news needs to be more accessible

May 30, 2018 — by Emilie Zhou

Every week, principal Paul Robinson sends out his Week at a Glance emails that introduce and recap different events on campus as well as other important news happening in the area.

I get most of my updates on local news from these emails and rely heavily on them to know what’s going on in our school and city. However, this is the only source of local news I get.

When a student is asked about news, it’s more likely that they will be able to describe what’s going on in the world but not know what’s been happening in their own city. Many students may not even know what’s happening in Saratoga or the Bay Area beyond the perimeters of the school.

Because local news is not as easily found and available as breaking news, it’s often difficult for community members to stay informed. Local news should be more accessible so residents know what’s going on in their community and can learn more about issues that may affect them.

While there are some big news sources in the Bay area, such as the Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle, many residents are still unaware of what’s going on in the area. Saratoga does have some ways of conveying local news to residents through magazines and newspapers, such as the Saratoga News and the Saratoga Spotlight, but they’ve proven ineffective at reaching younger generations. Nowadays, students are more drawn to news presented online rather than from a magazine or newspaper.

According to the Pew Research Center, circulation of revenue for print newspapers have been declining in the past years. Studies done by the Pew Research Center in 2016 have also found that 50 percent of 18 to 29 year olds get their news online, while only 5 percent get their news from newspapers.

Local news can be made more available with more up to date websites and apps. I may not be the best at following local news and I’m not that interested in politics, but online news sources should still be made more user-friendly.

For example, the Mercury News is a source of online local news that more websites should be modeled off of. They cover important news in the Bay Area, but their website also includes different sections with coverage on local news happening in the smaller cities nearby. Different social media platforms could also be used to spread local news and help residents stay updated on issues in their city.

Even though Saratoga is a relatively small and quiet city, coverage on local events and updates on the city are important. Overall, making news more available and accessible will not only encourage people to learn more about issues in their city but will also create a closer community.


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