CJR: In Justin Amash, a litmus test for partisan media’s influence

Justin Amash is the fifth-term representative for Michigan’s Third Congressional District, elected five times as a Republican, Amash is now an independent. He wrote about why he left the Republican Party in a July op-ed published by the Washington Post.

He, like all members of the House of Representatives, faces voters in 2020.

Lauren Harris of the Columbia Journalism Review writes that what happens to Amash - who now faces negative attention from Fox News - is worth watching because it could show the impact of diminished local news and the raise of partisan national outlets as a key source of political information for Americans.

AS NATIONAL NEWS COVERAGE replaces the instructive role once played by local outlets, overly  simplistic partisan politics increasingly drives the conversation.  National news coverage “is naturally more partisan—centered around the  disputes between the two major national parties, and way less about what  local representatives are doing for their districts,” says Johanna  Dunaway, a professor at Texas A&M who has studied the decline of  local news and the subsequent effects of national media—particularly  cable news—taking its place. A study from 2018,  for which Dunaway was one of the authors, found that the death of local  news correlated with decreased split-ticket voting in that area.