News

“Local news and information provide a first-warning system, but they are also a connective tissue,” says Tim Franklin, senior associate dean at Northwestern University’s Medill journalism school and head of the Medill Local News Initiative. “We’re in self-isolation and quarantine. The ability to have an entity that is looking at your neighbors and local officials and describing to you how they’re doing is vital to mental health, not just physical health.”

As the coronavirus crisis wreaked havoc in the news business last month, the newly installed president of the most prominent journalists’ union in the country, the NewsGuild, crossed a line that once seemed unimaginable: He asked the government for money.
It’s true that much of the local news industry had fallen on hard times well before covid-19. But the pandemic is inflicting new damage even as it underscores the crucial role of local newspapers. In this public health emergency, people turn to local media for answers to what The Post’s Margaret Sullivan called “life-or-death information” such as “Where to get tested?” and “Is it safe to go outside?”
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?
Finding a sizable audience has not been a problem for publishers. Hunger for news in a time of crisis has sent droves of readers to many publications. But with businesses paused or closed — and no longer willing or able to pay for advertisements — a crucial part of the industry’s support system has cracked.
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.
It’s the second round of cuts since the nation’s largest newspaper chain announced on March 30 it would be slashing executive pay and instituting one week of furloughs a month through June for staffers making more than $38,000 a year.