As a political junkie and a researcher by trade, I am saddened by the preliminary findings of this article given that more and more communities are losing their local papers.
Do Newspapers Matter? Evidence from the Closure of The Cincinnati Post (March 2009).
Authors, Sam Schulhofer-Wohl and Miguel Garrido of Princeton University, concluded that the loss of even a small paper made local elections less competitive.
The absence of the paper was associated with reductions in voter-turnout, the number of people running for office, and the likelihood of non-incumbent candidates prevailing.
The authors controlled for race, and age, and the effects of the historical presidential election on local elections in this one small geographic area. However, additional larger studies are needed to further examine this trend.