Every community has a story | SAVE THE NEWS

American democracy depends on every citizen having easy access to credible, factual information they need to make informed decisions about their health, their safety, their government, and their everyday lives. 

But that kind of essential information is getting harder to find as the news industry is gripped by a crisis: The business model that sustained American journalism has collapsed as advertising revenue abandoned news publications in favor of a handful of technology companies. Many cities and towns have lost local news coverage entirely. At least 2,100 newspapers have folded across the U.S. since 2004, and 1,300 communities have become “news deserts.” 

But the fact that the business model for the news industry has changed doesn’t mean that the public service these news sources provide is any less important. In communities that have no newspaper, fewer people vote and the cost of their government increases. Partisanship increases with the loss of the community connection created by common sources of information.

The NewsGuild represents 16,000 American journalists, and we believe that journalists and their work are essential to a functioning democracy. We call for public policy solutions to the crisis facing the news industry that  focus not just on jobs and revenue, but on supporting the critical role of a free, independent and robust press in American life. To that end, we offer an agenda for public policy that will restore and sustain American journalism, resting on three pillars. 

More journalism jobs

Newspapers need new streams of revenue to support robust staffing. New funding, whether from taxpayer funding, subsidies or fees, must be channeled toward restoring or adding newsroom jobs — not inflating the bottom line of news companies.

More local

To save local news, America needs stronger regulation of media consolidation, and incentives to break up existing media chains and to encourage the purchase of news organizations by civic-minded, local owners, including nonprofits, public benefit corporations, co-ops and employee-ownership models. 

More press freedom

Press freedom fundamentally stems from the ability of journalists to gather and publish the news without interference or intimidation from individuals, government or their employers. 

Tweet Your Support

"While journalists are covering the biggest story of their lives, the news industry is fighting to survive. That’s why we're fighting to #SaveTheNews to keep reporters on the streets and our communities connected."

"Furloughs, pay cuts, and layoffs are impacting tens of thousands of journalists – just when Americans need news most. Fight to #SaveTheNews."

"Journalists are at work providing life-saving information to readers, with many outlets offering COVID-19 coverage for free as a public service. It is critical for Congress to provide funding for local newsrooms and journalists. Help #SaveTheNews."

Then a bold, if slightly desperate, idea came to him. In his brushes with the professional journalism crowd, he’d heard about an increasingly popular school of thought: if the press is a public service, it ought to be publicly funded.
Big stories and essential reporting don’t protect the Florida Times-Union from a fresh round of staff cuts.
Dr. Seema Yasmin, who studies the overlap of news deserts and health deserts, told Brian Stelter that those of us who live in news deserts are more likely to face not just a pandemic, but also a misinfodemic that fuels the spread of the disease. Speaking on Reliable Sources on CNN on Nov. 15, 2020, she said the press is “immune system of a democracy.”
In October, Gannett offered a round of voluntary buyouts to all its employees. Poynter has learned that roughly 600 people opted in and roughly 500 buyouts were accepted... “Gannett’s furloughs earlier this year and the recent buyouts undermine our democracy,” said Jon Schleuss, president of The NewsGuild — Communications Workers of America. “It’s a disgrace that any news company thinks it can cut its way to success.”
“In a smaller community or even a city the size of Shreveport/Bossier, you need enough journalists to cover what’s happening in the city government, what’s happening at the parish level, what’s happening at the state level, especially what’s happening down in Baton Rouge,” NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss said.
In a pair of interviews with Tom Hall at Midday on WYPR, journalism advocates Margaret Sullivan and Jon Schleuss warned of the dangers facing communities that lose access to local news.

Brian Stelter speaks with reporters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where Tribune Publishing is cutting costs by closing the century-old newsroom at The Morning Call newspaper.

When the The Casper Star-Tribune this summer announced it would only print five editions per week -- leaving