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The presidential election is on everyone's mind, but this year there are also tens of thousands of elections for city and county offices across the country. Yet few Americans know much about them, in part because of a crisis in the local news business. In the last two decades, thousands of local newspapers have closed, and virtually every remaining paper has slashed its reporting staff. As a result, Americans have become less knowledgeable about their local governments and less likely to turn out to vote in local elections. This talk will draw on two decades of data to show how the decline of local news in the United States is threatening the foundations of local democracy.

Danny Hayes, Ph.D., is professor of political science at George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also earned a master’s degree in government and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. A former journalist, Hayes’ research focuses on the media, public opinion and elections.

Hayes is the author of three books published by Cambridge University Press. The most recent, "News Hole: The Demise of Local Journalism and Political Engagement" (2021), was awarded the Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics and other academic journals. He also serves as an editor of Good Authority and previously was an editor at The Monkey Cage at the Washington Post. He is the recipient of the Kenny Prize for Innovation in Teaching of Introductory Courses, and three times has been named George Washington University’s best professor by the student newspaper, The Hatchet.

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