Keep it local!

Why you should pay more attention to local news.

You all undoubtedly know who Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are. However, do you know who Lyda Krewson, Sam Page, Andrew Koenig, or Trish Gunby are? Those last four names have more impact on our daily lives than the President and Vice President, but I bet very few people know who they are.

Did you know that in the city of St. Louis, there is an election coming up? Tishaura Jones and Cara Spencer won the primary election on March 2, and have advanced to the St. Louis runoff. I’d put it up to a 50% chance that if you were to speak to a random person in St. Louis, they would know something about the mayoral election. I’d also put it up to a 100% chance that that same person could tell you something about the presidential election. This issue with this is that by all accounts, the outcome of the mayoral election will do more to directly impact a St. Louisian’s life than the presidential election ever will. That is why I believe that it’s important for Americans to pay more attention to state and local news, as it is more relevant to their life than national news and it helps them be more active in their community.

My first point is that local news is more relevant to an American’s life than national events. While nation-wide events are more impactful to the nation as a whole, local events are more likely to directly affect an individual. That is why it is just as important to pay attention to local news, someone may miss something that is extremely pertinent to their lifestyle and not even know it. A good example of how local issues can impact us more than national issues occurred just last year. Last year, Missouri legislatures passed a bill that required Missouri public schools to not open the school year more than 14 days before Labor Day. This is why school won’t start till Aug. 23 in Parkway next year. This local issue is real and relevant to Missouri students, parents, and teachers. It affects their lives directly. However, an event like the Capitol Riots, which most people know about, is important, but it’s not as significant to our daily lives as something on the state/local level. It’s good to stay informed on national news, but being informed on local news may be just as beneficial.

Secondly, staying informed on local news is the first step in being active in the local community. Maybe someone from St. Louis wants to be more involved in the political scene of the city or county? One of their first steps could be to pull up their favorite local news webpage and scan for issues or controversies that need to be addressed. They can then go and campaign around a candidate, make donations, or even run for office themselves. A single person can make a big difference. Compare this to trying to be involved in federal politics. The bar for entry is much higher; it often means only being a piece of a larger whole. It is much harder to make an impact on the national scale, and there is always the risk of falling out of touch with their roots. If that were to happen, local communities would very well be left in the dust, and then we get cities with so many deeply-ingrained issues. Local government and current events are an opportunity for any person to make a difference. Even if national affairs are too far out of their reach, anyone can find that they are capable of being influential on a smaller scale. 

If an American wants to be more informed on relevant-to-self issues, and if they want to make a more substantial impact on their community, then they may find that local involvement is more important than national involvement, and paying attention to the local news is the best way for that to get started.

I’ve composed a shortlist of local news sources (I encourage anyone to find any other sources that they trust):