A recent study from researchers at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois found that the closure of local newspapers was associated with higher costs shouldered by the taxpaying public. The researchers looked at roughly 1,600 English-language newspapers in the U.S. and studied the difference in how local tax revenue was spent before and after nearly 300 of those publications closed, merged with other publications, or reduced how often they published.
These higher costs can manifest themselves in many ways, the study found. For starters, the researchers found that the costs associated with local municipal bonds shot up as a result of a local newspaper closing, increasing by as much as 5 to 11 basis points in the long run. That can equate to as much as $650,000 in additional interest on the loans.