I don't believe that there is any conspiracy at play here. As Twain said, "Never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity." But it is almost breathtaking how the local media have played things in such a perfect way as to keep the voters an uninformed as they can.
I'm sure this is the case all over the state, but what I have in mind is the example from my own neighborhood. The state senate seat is open for the first time in ten years, and there are four candidates running in the primary. There's a lot of interest in this race -- signs all over the neighborhood and all that. So what do the local media do? The local weekly newspaper, the Cranston Herald, decides that it will sponsor a candidate debate, to take place less than a week before the vote. But, likely because of their sponsorship of said debate, they do not report at all on an earlier debate/candidate forum which they did not sponsor. (And I should add that this candidate forum also had candidates for other races of interest in the community.) So the voting public misses out on a chance to read about what was said at that forum.
One might figure, well, that's the paper's prerogative; they want to promote their own debate. But...their debate, as we heard in the previous paragraph, takes place less than a week before the primary. And they are...a weekly paper. And so, they will not be able to run a story about the debate before the election, as the paper comes out on the same day as the debate is held. And just to put the icing on the cake, since the Cranston Herald sponsored the debate, that gives the Providence Journal an excuse not to acknowledge that it happened (not that they apparently feel they need an excuse, as their coverage of state legislative races around the state has been uniformly poor.) So, no one reports on the debate. I even looked around for blog coverage, but nothing there either. Amazing. I have already decided who gets my vote, so this failure does not affect me personally. But it is a disservice to voters who want to be informed and hope that the media will help them with that.