GETTING CURIOUS | What Happened To Local Newspapers?


So much of our news consumption these days comes from social media and cable news, but whatever happened to local newspapers? Journalist, author, and educator Meg Heckan joins Jonathan to answer that very question. We learn about the history of newspapers, how communities are impacted when their local paper folds, and what we can do to cultivate a stronger news ecosystem that’s more reflective of our society. Plus, we dive deep into what’s at stake for our democracy when local journalism suffers and what the future of the field might look like. 

Meg Heckman is a journalist, author and educator focused on building a news ecosystem that is robust, diverse and equipped to serve all segments of society. She is the author of “Political Godmother: Nackey Scripps Loeb and the Newspaper That Shook the Republican Party,” and her work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including the Columbia Journalism Review, USA Today, and The Conversation, as well as scholarly publications such as the Newspaper Research Journal and Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an associate professor at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism and Media Innovation. 

You can follow Meg on LinkedIn and learn more about Northeastern’s School of Journalism on their website.

Follow us on Instagram @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation. Jonathan is on Instagram @JVN.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

Find books from Getting Curious guests at

Our senior producers are Chris McClure and Julia Melfi. Our associate producer is Allison Weiss. Our engineer is Nathanael McClure. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Anne Currie, and Chad Hall.

Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to

Curious about bringing your brand to life on the show? Email

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness