Dramatic changes in news ownership have been recent and swift. Today, hedge funds control one-third of U.S. newspapers, and all four of the largest local newspaper chains are owned or managed by these poorly regulated financial institutions. Three-quarters of the top 200 newspapers by circulation are owned or controlled by hedge funds.

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.
“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 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.”
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.”

Alden Global Capital, known for plundering newspapers, plans to expand ownership of Tribune Publishing

Move is latest Alden ploy in a larger effort to gut newsrooms across the country, detailed in new, comprehensive report

NewsGuild-CWA Outlines Path for Industry’s Survival

Sept. 11, 2020 - Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund known for pillaging newspapers, plans to expand its ownership stake in Tribune Publishing as soon as Jan.

When Evan Brandt began working at The Mercury as a municipal reporter in 1997, his beat focused on one community -- Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and the daily paper had 14 reporters, including a few sportswriters.

Twenty-three years later, Brandt, The Mercury’s only municipal reporter, covers nine school districts and 30 communities in and near Pottstown, a town of 23,000 people 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

“You get good at multitasking,” Brandt, 56, said matter-of-factly, a tone of weariness in his voice.

Reporters from 75 or more news outlets across the United States descended on Kenosha, Wisconsin, to cover emotional and sometimes violent protests in the days after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha police.

But when community members gathered for a prayer service on the shores of Lake Michigan a few days after Blake was shot, the only reporter present was from the local paper, the Kenosha News.