Town by town, local journalism is dying in plain sight

Newspapers in more than 1,400 cities and towns across the US have closed over the past 15 years, often leaving residents without a reliable source of local news

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. -- The local news industry is struggling from a decline in readers and advertising, especially in small towns across the US.

Over the past 15 years, more than 1,400 towns and cities have lost a newspaper. Among them are the twin towns of Waynesville and St. Robert in central Missouri's Ozark hills.

The newspaper that served them closed last September, leaving residents without a source of regular news about their community.

The reasons for the closures vary. But the result is that many Americans no longer have someone watching the city council for them, chronicling the soccer exploits of their children or reporting on the kindly neighbor who died.

Natalie Sanders, a former editor, said that when the Daily Guide folded it felt like an old friend had died.

Moving for Sunshine Week, held annually to highlight journalism's role in fighting for government transparency