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Newspaper cuts open door to more political trickery

March 20, 2009|JAMES RAINEY

The two researchers found that, after the Cincinnati Post closed at the end of 2007, fewer candidates participated in local elections, incumbents had a greater advantage and voter turnout declined -- findings reported recently in the trenchant "Reflections of a Newsosaur" blog. Politics in suburban northern Kentucky communities became less "vibrant" for the loss of that single paper, despite the fact that its 27,000 daily circulation was dwarfed by the city's dominant Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here's hoping the new websites and community blogs that we keep hearing about will pick up the slack some time soon. In the meantime, the political pros have more control. And we have less information. Some folks seem to have no idea what they're missing.

"If you ask people, 'Do you want state troopers on the road?' they might first answer, 'No' ," said Lehane. "But if they projected it long term, they would have to wonder, 'What does that mean to society?' "

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On the Media also runs Wednesday in Calendar.

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