From a long article in the Atlantic bemoaning the decline of local newspapers, with a focus on the Chicago Tribune and its new owners:
When a local newspaper vanishes, research shows, it tends to correspond with lower voter turnout, increased polarization, and a general erosion of civic engagement. Misinformation proliferates. City budgets balloon, along with corruption and dysfunction.
This is an interesting passage in part because the assumption seems to be that bigger city budgets are bad, along with corruption, dysfunction, lower voter turnout, increased polarization, and erosion of civic engagement. Yet it's possible that a larger city budget is good news. Maybe it is a sign that the property tax-base or population has soared as a city prospers and grows. Maybe it is a sign that the city is hiring more police officers that will make the city safer, or paying to attract better teachers that will do a better job of educating the city's students. It's certainly possible—maybe even likely—that an increased city budget might be the result of less pressure from the press to reduce wasteful spending, sweetheart contracts, or overly generous deals with politically influential public-employee unions. But given that newsroom reporters and editors are overwhelmingly politically left-leaning and tend to be supportive of tax-and-spend or borrow-and-spend policies, the link between the newspaper disappearing and the spending ballooning struck me as somewhat surprising, or at least counterintuitive. There's no attribution for the finding, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the claim.