In part, Stewart credits the Journal Messenger for his victory in his last election. While his opponent's campaign was better funded, he says the paper gave him better coverage. Without a local paper, "people will come to rely almost exclusively on the campaigns' message," says Stewart.
But it's all part of a larger shift, playing out on the local level. "We once had three local news papers and now they are all gone. Residents are now less informed about local news. But what has killed the industry as a whole is the Internet," says Stewart.
In recent years, "the circulation of paper had declined so substantially," says Stewart. "One of the things that appears to be partially filling the gap in local news coverage are blogs and Facebook. But those sources certainly aren't always reliable. There's no one Facebook page or blog that people can go to to depend upon the news," said Stewart.
As he concluded, "It's really a shame."