Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Ximena Gallardo

Subject Categories

Digital Humanities | Journalism Studies | Social Justice


journalism, local journalism, news media, social change, social issues, United States


The Local Accountability Journalism Tracker curates local news stories in the United States that resulted in substantial accountability or change. Published on a Tumblr website, each local news story includes a blurb detailing what the story was about as well as the accountability or change that followed the story’s publication. News stories must meet the following criteria for inclusion:

  1. Be published by a news outlet in the United States;
  2. Cover a social issue or criminal activity at the local level;[1]
  3. Lead to heightened awareness (whether local, national, or international) in the general public about the social issue or criminal activity;
  4. Contribute to major accountability or change at an institutional level (e.g., government, education, church); in the case of criminal activity, contribute to the identification, arrest, and/or sentencing of the perpetrator(s)

The Local Accountability Journalism Tracker was published during a time of uncertainty, when COVID-19 cases continue to ravage and news publishers continue to suffer from an economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. The coronavirus itself is a local news story, affecting communities across the United States differently and showing why local news has perhaps never been more important to people who need timely, factual information on local conditions in their communities. This project further demonstrated the need for local news by detailing—historically—the role of local journalism in not only disseminating information about communities but also in upholding our democracy.

[1] Some news stories may have started off as local stories but then had larger implications at a grander scale (national or international). Those stories would still be included in the project.

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