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To the Editor:

Even before Halloween, maybe you’re thinking about your Christmas gift list with news about further supply chain delays. Well, why not give family and friends a local newspaper subscription?

The Chatham News + Record could use support as we often take our local professional reporters and editors for granted. Of course, the digital era’s market disruptions eat up the classifieds (Craigslist) and ads (Google). In the past 15 years, more than 25% of U.S. newspapers have closed. Survivors are smaller and more vulnerable to acquisition by outside investors, like secretive hedge funds wanting to strip local newspaper assets, gutting staff to make money.

What are the consequences?

When a local newspaper folds, research shows corresponding lower local government voter turnout with less competitive elections and greater social media misinformation spread with political polarization. In general, civic engagement erosion allows local government budgets and business corruption to go unchecked. We lose our sense of community as we focus on syndicated national and global issues. Without the Chatham News + Record, we’ll miss our local archival record — birth announcements, obituaries, and our source of precious clippings placed on the fridge. We need our local news professionals to maintain our much-needed community pride of place, accountability, and even democracy.

Minta Phillips
Julian

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