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.
Washington — Charges of "fake news" and "enemy of the people" may still emanate from the White House, where the president continues his barrage against the Fourth Estate amidst the coronavirus pandemic. But at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, there is a groundswell of support for an already battered news industry that now finds itself grappling with drastic cuts spurred by a loss in advertising revenue during the crisis.
If the coronavirus crisis has taught us anything, it is that the work of journalists and photojournalists is essential. Without it how would we know how our communities are being affected? How would we know the basic measures we need to take to ensure our health?
Unions representing journalists at the Baltimore Sun launched a "Save Our Sun" campaign Thursday in an effort to detach the newspaper from its corporate ownership and create a nonprofit news model. The effort by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild and the NewsGuild-CWA seeks to return the Sun to local ownership under a revenue model that would reinvest its profits back into the newspaper.
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst wants the Paycheck Protection Program to be expanded so local newspapers, radio and TV stations can access financial assistance at a time when journalists are being furloughed and laid off due in large part to a dramatic drop in advertising revenue.
The top media union in North America is looking to hire a Republican lobbying firm in hopes that bipartisan support on Capitol Hill may save the industry as it faces an existential crisis.
An economic free fall in the local news industry began long before the coronavirus started wreaking havoc on the national economy. Since shutdowns to combat the virus began, things have gotten much worse, as advertisers halted spending and publishers slashed more journalists’ jobs and hours despite the public’s need for information on the pandemic.
For journalism outlets in Wisconsin and nationwide, the COVID-19 pandemic could be the biggest story ever. And reporters and editors are covering it even as their future has never looked more precarious.