Former Rockford television news anchor and current Illinois State Senator is fighting to save local news.

I remember when I was growing up, the news was a big deal. My dad would get up every morning to read the paper, eat breakfast, and have his coffee before heading off to work. On Saturdays and Sundays, the only difference was it happened before running errands and going to church.

On his commute back and forth to work, he would listen to AM news and talk radio. Then, when he got home and after dinner, he would relax in his chair and watch the evening television news. My dad would usually end the day with the 10 pm broadcast.

It came in handy whenever I needed to do a project for school or just had questions about what was going on in the world. He was very knowledgeable. My dad would give me the facts and not opinions.

Of course, back then, there were not as many options to get the news. You had newspapers. They included the regional daily paper and our local one that came out once a week. On television, there were three networks with news at 5 pm, 6 pm, and 10 pm. Plus, you could listen to the news on local AM radio.

Now, it is everywhere and all the time. That means 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. There are multiple all-news networks on television. Then the internet is an endless source of information.

Even though it is readily available, I do believe there are some serious issues with the news of today. First of all, it is very difficult to just get the facts. Now, everyone has to give their opinions and pass them off as news. The major problem is they are from one extreme to the other and no one is willing to meet in the middle.

The saddest part of the whole modern age of news is that it is hard to get information about our own communities. Locally produced print and broadcast news is few and far between. It is much easier to find out what the President of the United States posted on Twitter than to find out what your town's mayor approved at the latest city council meeting.

Do not get me wrong, the national stuff is important but it does not directly affect us like the local news. Now, a former Rockford news anchor is trying to do something about it.

According to Media Reporter Robert Feder's column from the Daily Herald,

"Steve Stadelman spent 25 years as a TV news anchor and reporter in Rockford before he became an Illinois state senator. Now he’s sponsoring a bill to protect journalism in small towns and mid-sized cities statewide. It would create a task force to study communities underserved by local journalism and make recommendations on how to preserve and restore news coverage in those areas."

I think that is a great idea. Hopefully, he comes up with a good plan to help protect our local news.

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born

Video: Whitney Martin will NOT be running for mayor of Rockford



More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5