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As Ken Doctor put it on Monday, "this is the mid-year witching hour for the U.S. daily press," with numerous possible outcomes. McClatchy's biggest investor Chatham might end up with the newspaper chain. Or Gannett. Or a group of investors from the "growing civic-good journalism world" who could set up "the country's first major nonprofit newspaper chain."

NewsGuild journalists representing 10 Tribune Publishing Co. publications across the country are launching a collective campaign to return these institutions to local ownership.

In a sweeping vote of no confidence in Tribune’s current leadership, NewsGuild members at publications including The Capital Gazette, The Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, The Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and more are seeking local investors who recognize that local newspapers are vital community institutions.

Journalists at the Chicago Tribune have resorted to begging for new owners, the Times reported. Some editors have already left. The union launched an ultimately failed campaign to attempt to unseat Alden’s board members. Many reporters have been furloughed—a difficult outcome that was itself a hard-won concession by the union.

“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.