What is the value of local TV news?

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Despite the Internet’s adoption as a leading source of news and information, local TV stations still hold significant sway in the political and social discourse of communities large and small. In survey after survey, around 70% of Americans say they rely on their local TV brands for information about local weather, traffic and breaking news.

With this, local stations are aggressively migrating to on-demand and mobile, restructuring models of content and production, breaking down the ad/edit wall further, downsizing, consolidating, and sharing or outsourcing reporting. What are the risks of major changes like station consolidation or pay-for-play ads? What innovations in local TV news hold the most promise to serve the public good?