"Life is harder" : the perceived impact of a newspaper closure on community members
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This study presents findings from 18 in-depth interviews with residents of a recent news desert and offers a systematic qualitative investigation of the perceived impact of a newspaper's closure on community members' everyday lives and, just as important, their sense of community. This case study, using the psychological theory of sense of community as its theoretical framework, shows a noticeable negative effect on community members' sense of community, with participants missing celebrated gatherings, suffering from an increased sensation of isolation and diminished pride in the community. In addition, without newspaper reporters stationed in the county, residents function as reporters themselves, laboring to obtain information. Overall, these findings present a picture of life in Caroline County, Virginia, following the Caroline Progress' closure after 99 years of service to the county.