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The Growth of TV News, the Demise of the Journalism Profession

In response to the dearth of critical literature on the transformation of local news ownership structure and the impacts of technological reorganization of news production on the television profession and local communities, we analyze the consolidation of local news and the paradox of expanded news hours in times of shrinking staffs and less-trusting audiences. Focused on Portland, Oregon, characterized as one of America’s most civically active cities and a top-25 market, we interviewed many key workers from among the city’s four television newsrooms. Despite having union representation, once discrete news production professionals and functions have been radically integrated, resulting in a multitasked news staff forced to provide fast-turnaround for multiple platforms, while seriously weakening investigative reporting, the quality of news production, and the utility of local news for the community.