News

As essential workers, journalists are a critical resource for providing the people of New Hampshire with local reporting on what’s happening in their communities. This includes life-saving public health information about the impact of COVID-19 in their areas, particularly as the pandemic’s course takes new directions every day.
As the NewsGuild continues to encourage bipartisan Congressional support for S.B. 3718, NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss penned a letter to Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to further underscore the need for local news in our communities.
When a local media company folds, studies have shown the cost of local government increases 30% within 4-5 years, civic pride diminishes, voting numbers drop, economic vitality declines and volunteering fades away. This is a unique opportunity that allows just a few voices to make a dramatic impact in the future of your local community.
Local news allows us to remain informed about our government, school boards and elections. Like the story last year about former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who was indicted on fraud over sales of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books.
We media people know all too well that many local news sources are deeply troubled, financially, but most Americans do not know. And most Americans aren’t accustomed to paying for local news. So that’s a real problem to be overcome.
“One of the biggest problems we have in journalism right now, is hedge funds are bleeding newsrooms dry,” said Jon Schleuss, president of the News Guild International, the union that represents reporters at The Sun and other papers. The funds treat “newspapers and news publications as distressed assets,” he said.
Newspapers and mayors aren’t always friendly. If journalists aren’t prying into the inner workings of City Hall, they aren’t doing their jobs. Tension needn’t breed animosity, though, and a couple of big-city mayors went to bat for their local newspapers last month.
Hedge-fund ownership is one of, if not the, worst developments that have occurred for newspapers. These companies don’t care about journalism. They care about strip-mining what’s left for whatever profits can be squeezed, not with an eye to a sustainable future but with an eye toward next quarter’s balance sheet.