The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund’s study, The Decline of Local News and Its Impact on Democracy is now moving into the consensus process. Through March 2023, local Leagues throughout Washington will read and discuss the study’s findings, embarking on a process to determine whether the League will adopt a policy position supporting local news. That process, known as seeking consensus, is not a simple majority vote, nor is it necessarily unanimity. Rather, it is the overall sense of the members’ sentiments as expressed through the exchange of ideas and opinions. Based on the feedback they receive from local Leagues, members of the state board will determine in spring 2023 whether to adopt a policy position regarding local news. If they do so, delegates to the May 2023 state convention will vote on the proposed position. Adoption of a policy position would allow the nonprofit, nonpartisan League to advocate in support of local news across Washington. The League never advocates for an issue before first conducting a study.
We are looking for Kittitas County League members who would like to participate in our consensus process that starts February 1, 2023. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join us in this interesting and worthy endeavor.
We could use your help in these ways: First, read the study and help to make sure that others read the study. It is critical we have as many members as possible read the main study in detail to ensure we have the most meaningful responses to consensus questions. Second, be a discussion leader or a recorder for the small group discussions. Training is available for discussion leaders and highly recommended (see below for dates and times).
Please visit the LWVWA website for additional information on the consensus process related to this study. We have a busy schedule for the consensus process:
- Jan 21, 2023: Statewide Virtual Study Presentation – Will take place on Zoom with time for questions and answers. Visit LWVWA to register.
- Jan 31, 2023: Discussion Leader Training #1
- Feb 1, 2023: Discussion Leader Training #2
- Feb 1, 2023: Local Leagues take up Local News study
- March 17, 2023: Deadline for consensus statement from local Leagues
- April 10, 2023: State Board adopts new position. Position is available for use.
- May 4-7, 2023: Position presented to delegates at the State League Convention.
Watch a discussion of study results confirming a decline in local newspapers and journalism, featuring Moderator Delores Irwin, Seattle Times Reporter Brier Dudley, and Former Managing Editor of the Ellensburg Daily News, Mike Gallagher.