Local news coverage crisis hits home 17-year-old ChicoSol "well-positioned" to thrive

Rebuild Local News Founder Steven Waldman

by Natalie Hanson
commentary posted March 2

(ChicoSol coverage of the nationwide local news crisis has received support from an Ethnic Media Services fellowship.)

The rapid erosion of local news across the country is nothing short of a five-alarm emergency for democracy — and it will take creativity and commitment to keep democracy’s fourth pillar standing.

Butte County affairs are covered by only a few news outlets that employ a handful of journalists. Research shows reduced local news coverage is linked to less government transparency and reduced civic engagement. Most citizens do not have time to carefully monitor the use of their tax dollars and attend public meetings that reporters once watched closely. read more

ChicoSol journalists capture 5 state awards Waddell honored for police shooting, Sites stories

photo courtesy of Sites Project Authority
A conceptual rendering of the Sites reservoir west of Maxwell. Dave Waddell’s first-place story was supported by an Ethnic Media Services fellowship.

ChicoSol contributor Dave Waddell has won four honors, including two first-place awards, and ChicoSol Editor Leslie Layton was named a second-place winner in the 2019 California Journalism Awards competition.

The results were announced Tuesday by the sponsoring California News Publishers Association, which cancelled its planned spring awards gala because of coronavirus risks.

Waddell captured top honors in the in-depth reporting category for a series of stories on law enforcement killings in Butte County. He also placed first in land-use reporting for an extensive story on the proposed Sites reservoir. read more