It’s a priority to save local news in time of crisis

Floridians rely on the availability of local news reporting during times of crisis. It should be no surprise that like all small businesses across our country, local news organizations are suffering the same economic uncertainty and challenges. Our country was founded with a recognition of the need for a robust and free press, and we must make sure it stays that way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the local news industry across the United States and in Florida, causing advertising revenue to dry up as businesses are shuttering to combat the virus. This has led to across-the-board layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts for thousands of journalists and workers at newspapers in Florida.

COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on how much Floridians depend on local media to know what is happening in their communities. They look to local journalists to stay informed about which hospitals are at capacity, the latest public health and safety guidance in their area, and where and when testing can be done. The recent surge in online readership on local news sites shows how important this role is. Many outlets are even making their COVID-19 coverage free for all readers as a public service.