Americans living in "news deserts" with few or no local news outlets may be in a bind now that it's time to vote in the midterm elections. Fewer and fewer reporters are employed by the papers that typically cover community and state-level races. More and more of the papers are going out of business altogether. As a result there is less vetting of candidates and more confusion about what's even on the ballot. Americans have new tools in their hands -- cell phones with access to Facebook and other websites -- but social networks don't fill the void left by local reporters.
The media needs to stop letting President Donald Trump be its "assignment editor," Vox editor-at-large Ezra Klein says. There is no rule that "every time the president travels somewhere and opens their mouth, they get wall-to-wall coverage for days," Klein said. Rallies by previous presidents hardly attracted the type of attention that President Trump's do, he explained. Yet, when newsrooms scramble to cover PresidentTrump's rallies, such as the one held on July 5 in Montana, other, more important stories may be getting left behind.