News

Newspapers in every state received forgivable, low-interest loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to keep journalists working during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released this week by the Small Business Administration.
Not so long ago, the Youngstown Vindicator sent someone to cover every municipal or school board meeting in the surrounding three-county area. “People knew that,” said Mark Brown, former general manager of the northeastern Ohio newspaper, “and they behaved.”
“As local journalism declines, government officials conduct themselves with less integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness, and corporate malfeasance goes unchecked. With the loss of local news, citizens are: less likely to vote, less politically informed, and less likely to run for office.” Democracy weakens, in other words, and loses its foundations.
“Think about what a strong base that is and how numerous a number is down at the bottom, so it feeds through to the top. The New York Times ultimately depends on what the Capital Gazette writes, in many ways to determine the agenda at the national level,” Abernathy said. Capital journalist Selene San Felice memorialized her slain colleagues and pleaded with the audience to find a way to save The Capital.
The only thing canceling your subscription to a newspaper will do is hasten the death of journalism itself. It will leave your community with even fewer full-time reporters to tell you what local leaders were up to while you weren’t paying attention. It will leave you with a far poorer understanding of the place where you live
The North Carolina journalism professor’s latest report out this week details the industry’s decline from 2004 through 2019, a period that saw the loss of more than 2,000 newspapers and a 44% drop in circulation overall.
The relentless spread of news deserts was speeding up even before the coronavirus incapacitated local economies, and since then the rate has accelerated some more. At the same time, the digital news cavalry long and widely expected to come riding to the rescue of community journalism has decelerated to a surprising halt.
The edges of news deserts are already expanding on maps, with more to come. Still, many more newspapers, some with fewer than a handful of advertisements each issue, have kept reporting the local news because now, maybe more than ever, you need to know what is going on in your community.
I am writing regarding the NewsGuild’s “Save the News” campaign. In these times, when the public is being barraged by claims of “fake news,” we need to have more local newspaper reporters to keep our public officials honest.
But what if your local newspaper no longer exists? It wouldn’t be too bold of a prediction to say that without help, many more newspapers across Kentucky and the country will go out of business soon.
But things are different in the digital realm. Over the last 15 years, more than 1,400 cities and towns across the U.S. have lost their community newspapers, abandoned by readers and advertisers who have moved online. They’re called news deserts — locales where the local daily or weekly newspaper no longer exists.