The Stories We Could Tell: Journalism For A Just Economy

Just Economy Conference – May 10, 2021


A just economy requires informed communities and trusted sources of news and information. But in communities across the nation, local journalism has collapsed. Commercial newspapers have been decimated by the migration of local advertising to national and global platforms, especially Google and Facebook. Between 2008 and 2019, U.S. newspapers shed half their newsroom employees. Like food and banking deserts, news deserts are spreading. At the same time, disinformation, conspiracies and deepened political divisions, amplified through weaponized social media platforms, have eroded trust in news and in journalists themselves. This session will explore the role of local journalism in community wealth and prosperity, and how to spark more public and private sector investment in trusted, fact-based journalism. We will also explore scenarios for the Community Reinvestment Act to spark greater investment in local journalism.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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