Marquette Wire

KAUFMAN: Local media vital to community

City+media+outlets+like+Shepherd+Express+inform+and+bring+together+the+local+community+in+ways+national+news+cannot.
City media outlets like Shepherd Express inform and bring together the local community in ways national news cannot.

City media outlets like Shepherd Express inform and bring together the local community in ways national news cannot.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

City media outlets like Shepherd Express inform and bring together the local community in ways national news cannot.

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Within the last year, I have developed a serious addiction. The culprit? Podcasts.

The biggest gem I have found in my audio storytelling journey hits surprisingly close to home. It’s a podcast called Bubbler Talk” from WUWM, Milwaukee’s local public radio service.

I was initially drawn to this series because I shared some of the questions about Milwaukee that the podcast seeks to answer, such as, “What’s the origin of the word Milwaukee?” and “Why do Bloody Marys come with a beer chaser in Wisconsin?”

However, I think that the most important takeaway I have had from “Bubbler Talk” is my increased appreciation for local media outlets and the important role they play in our community.

The investigative reporters that comprise the “Bubbler Talk” staff use local resources, such as the archives from the Milwaukee Public Library and local historians and experts throughout the area. I have found that I am not only interested in the content of the show, but that I am becoming more informed as a local resident, hearing stories and news I may have missed if it weren’t for this unique local news source.

During a segment about journalism, John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight,” reiterated the importance of local newspapers. He shed light on the fact that many national media outlets repackage the work of local newspapers, and without that information, the quality of national news stories would significantly decrease.

If we only focus on national news sources, we miss the important stories and voices of the community around us.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to know where your news comes from, and I truly believe that having a good balance between national and local news sources is key.

Listening to “Bubbler Talk” has reminded me just how important local content is, and that news not only informs, but also entertains. Because this Milwaukee-centered podcast caters to such a niche audience, listeners experience a common sense of appreciation and understanding of the content.

In a similar way, publications like Shepherd Express focus on hitting a small readership, fostering a shared excitement for Milwaukee culture. They broaden our knowledge of the place we call home and the people within it while sparking our curiosity to explore this city we share.

Exposing yourself to these local media outlets offers a greater awareness of the people and places around you and nurtures pride in your city. Media organizations’ passion for local stories has the power to bring people together and strengthen the community.

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