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Up To Date

Unpacking Biden's Infrastructure Plan | Local Newspapers Vanishing

Blank Page Northeast News.jpg
Michael Bushnell
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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.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.