News

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.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj answers with wit and outrage on "Patriot Act." “With everything going on in the country right now, I think we can all agree: It’s been really hard to watch the news,” Minhaj begins. And he soon gets to, “There’s one area where [local news] is unmatched: exposing sex offenders.
Floridians rely on the availability of local news reporting during times of crisis. It should be no surprise that like all small businesses across our country, local news organizations are suffering the same economic uncertainty and challenges. Our country was founded with a recognition of the need for a robust and free press, and we must make sure it stays that way.
In many places, it started with a cut in print days. Furloughs. Layoffs. Just to get through the crisis, newsroom leaders told readers. In some places, none of it was enough. Now, small newsrooms around the country, often more than 100 years old, often the only news source in those places, are closing under the weight of the coronavirus. Some report they’re merging with nearby publications.
Journalists, especially those covering local news, are essential workers who deserve our support, including their inclusion in future economic recovery bills now being considered by Congress. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic collapse have devastated America’s already crippled local news industry, which has traditionally relied on advertising to survive.
The media industry is at another inflection point. In the way the Me Too movement reshaped newsrooms, sparked debate, and purged bad actors from positions of authority, the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing about a similar upheaval by putting questions about race and reporting on the center stage.