Document Type


Publication Date



Civic engagement -- Influence of media industries on, Mass media -- Social aspects, Newspapers -- Political aspects


Using data from the 2008 and 2009 Current Population Survey conducted by the United States Census, this article assesses the year-over-year change in the civic engagement of citizens in America’s largest metropolitan areas. Of special interest are Denver and Seattle, where the Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer closed during the intervening year. The data from the CPS indicate that civic engagement in Seattle and Denver dropped significantly from 2008 to 2009 – a decline that is not consistently replicated over the same time period in other major American cities that did not lose a newspaper. The analysis suggests that this decline may plausibly be attributed to the newspaper closures in Seattle and Denver. This short-term negative effect is concerning –and whether it lasts warrants future attention.


This is the Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Political Communication, January 2014 copyright Taylor & Francis. The article is available online at:



Persistent Identifier