With so many seemingly intractable problems facing societies worldwide, negative “if it bleeds, it leads” headlines are leaving news consumers anxious and demoralized. Meanwhile, misinformation and disinformation is rampant on social media, leading to polarized discourse and communities.

That’s why it’s no longer enough to passively consume the news — it’s more important now than ever to take action on the issues we learn about in the news. Local media outlets may be the key to galvanizing news consumers to action, especially since civic engagement is strongly tied to local news habits. Those who have a reliable source of local news are more likely to participate in their communities, vote and trust their neighbours.

Local media outlets also stem the tide of misinformation and disinformation by delivering concrete, on-the-ground reporting. So, they can help build the necessary bridges between people to stop polarization and encourage them to collaborate to solve local problems.

Organised in association with Online News Association.