Newspaper headlines don’t reflect the most common causes of death — but should they?


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


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In the United States, deaths caused by homicide and terrorism are extremely rare; the leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer. But you wouldn’t guess that by looking at mainstream news coverage, which devotes far more coverage to violent death than it does to death from disease. (And Americans believe crime rates are much higher than they actually are.) This finding — which probably won’t surprise you — was explored this week in a post on Our World in Data. (Our World in Data is a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the nonprofit Global Change Data Lab.) Hannah Ritchie looked at 2018 research published to Github by Owen Shen, a student at the University of California, San Diego. For his project, Shen pulled data from four sources: The CDC’s WONDER database for public health data, Google Trends search volume, The Guardian’s
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When local newspapers shrink, fewer people bother to run for mayor


This post is by from Nieman Lab


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What do strong local newspapers do? Well, past research has shown they increase voter turnout, reduce government corruption, make cities financially healthier, make citizens more knowledgable about politics and more likely to engage with local government, force local TV to raise its game, encourage split-ticket (and thus less uniformly partisan) voting, make elected officials more responsive and efficient, and bake the most delicious apple pies. Okay, not that last one. Local newspapers are basically little machines that spit out healthier democracies. And the best part is that you get to reap the benefits of all those positive outcomes even if you don’t read them yourself. (On behalf of newspaper readers everywhere: You’re welcome.) Now a new paper suggests that weakened newspapers hurt communities in a different way: by reducing the number of options voters have to choose from. The paper in Urban Continue reading "When local newspapers shrink, fewer people bother to run for mayor"