We need to save local news in New Jersey

Meanwhile, the local news industry is enduring dire circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Advertising revenue has diminished as businesses are making an effort to combat the virus, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts for thousands of journalists. Journalists, like many others, are essential workers, and New Jerseyeans depend on local publications to receive targeted information pertaining to their communities. This includes getting life-saving public health information about the impact of COVID-19 in their areas. Many outlets are even making their online COVID-19 coverage free for all readers as a public service, despite the financial strains they face.

Journalists who are currently still employed have reported from emergency rooms and other COVID-19 hotspots where risks of infection are significantly higher. Meanwhile, other journalists have been subject to police violence — in violation of their First Amendment rights — while covering protests in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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