Why we need to save the news in Nevada

Local news allows readers to cut away from national headlines, navigate through some of the biases that plague cable news, and get to the true issues that are affecting their communities. It’s easy to imagine a story like this slipping through the cracks. Only the efforts of Anjeanette Damon and her colleagues at Reno Gazette Journal brought it to the attention of local readers.

Americans across the country have depended on local news in recent months, during an unprecedented health crisis and continued civil unrest. Despite this need for thoughtful, localized coverage, thousands of journalists have been laid off or furloughed, or experienced pay cuts.

Even beyond COVID-19, the shift in ad revenue away from print and digital outlets toward tech behemoths like Google and Facebook has undercut the stability of the media industry, and wreaked havoc in communities who had to bid farewell to their only local news outlet. In many regional papers, Wall Street business took advantage of the robust communications infrastructure to shift the metrics of success to click rates, likes and shares. These new owners haven’t shown foresight or an ounce of concern for the journalists who help tell important community stories or the health of the industry, and have often pushed it further into decline.

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