Very interesting point made in a generally very interesting Economist article: the decline of local news is contributing to Britain’s panic over crime:
Yet Britons refuse to do the same, and for this their newspapers, which seldom look on the sunny side of life, are much to blame. Ã¢â‚¬Å“NAME THE DEVIL BOYSÃ¢â‚¬â€WE MUST NOT LET THEM HIDEÃ¢â‚¬Â, roared the Mail on Sunday on January 24th, quoting the parents of the Edlington victims. Newspapers were no less lurid a century ago. But there is one big change: a shift in readership from local papers to national ones. Mr CameronÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comfortable Witney constituents are dropping the Oxford Mail in favour of national titles or the television, which report the most gruesome stories from across the country, not just the county. In this way local crises, such as an outbreak of teenage stabbings in London in 2007 and 2008, become national panics, causing fear even in regions where the problem does not exist. And bad news travels best: the fact that LondonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s teenage-murder rate quietly halved last year was not widely reported outside the capital.