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Unpacking Biden's Infrastructure Plan | Local Newspapers Vanishing

Blank Page Northeast News.jpg
Michael Bushnell
/
Northeast News
Publisher Michael Bushnell, left, and Managing Editor Abby Hoover display the cover of Northeast News' March 24 edition to demonstrate what will happen if their publication closes.

An examination of the $2 trillion infrastructure plan reveals it's goes beyond the traditional, and how the source of local news for many is struggling to find ways to stay afloat.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: The American Jobs Plan would be historic should it pass through Congress.

The ambitious proposal would not only cover roads, bridges, and the traditional pillars of infrastructure, but also human capital. One component of the bill addresses affordable housing, pledging the construction of 2 million homes in addition to public school upgrades and training a clean-energy workforce. "This will far exceed the New Deal, it will far exceed the great society of LBJ," U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver said.

Segment 2, beginning at 27:51: Since 2004, 1,800 newspapers have closed in the United States. That’s about 100 per year.

Northeast News has been covering the historic northeast of Kansas City for 89 years, but the lack of revenue could mean the end of this local publication. On March 24, the paper ran a blank front page demonstrating how their reporting will vanish without adequate support. Journalists weigh in on the fate of local publications.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Zach Wilson is the associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date.
Mackenzie Martin is a producer for Up To Date, Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann, and other podcasts at KCUR Studios. Reach out to her at mackenzie@kcur.org or on Twitter @_macmartin.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.