The news media business was shaky before the coronavirus started spreading across the country last month. Since then, the economic downturn that put 30 million Americans out of work has led to pay cuts, layoffs and shutdowns at many news outlets, including weeklies like The Stranger in Seattle, digital empires like Vox Media and Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain.
April 8, 2020 – The NewsGuild-CWA is pleased that 19 senators are asking Senate leaders to include funding to support local journalism and media in any future stimulus package. “This is an important step in protecting life-saving news operations from devastation and we will work to win broad, bipartisan support for such a package,” said Jon Schleuss, president of The NewsGuild.
But despite the increases in digital traffic, and despite our government recognizing newspapers as one of the many essential businesses that must continue operations during the pandemic, we are suffering losses alongside the rest of the nation as a result of COVID-19.

It was only seven days ago that we told you about The Stranger, the Seattle alt-(bi)weekly that was facing a financial crisis because of the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, which shut down concerts, bars, restaurants, and so many other events that provide the advertising fuel for an alt-weekly.

We are living through the unprecedented experience of a global pandemic. With COVID-19 canceling social gatherings around the world, we at Queen City Nerve want to do our best to support the well-being of our staff, delivery drivers, loved ones and readers. Since the county has issued an order to cancel or postpone events involving more than 50 people, many Charlotteans will be staying in and limiting their social activities outside of the house.

Today, the hallways of the Florida Press Center are quiet. Few politicians make their way through the building and only seven news organizations are still housed there—two of them digital-only operations that didn’t exist a decade ago.

The connection is no coincidence, says Rubado. “If there’s nobody reporting on or providing information about candidates, about legislation, about how money is being spent, or the budgeting process, how will people know that they require a quality challenger to unseat an ineffective mayor?” she said. “They don’t know the mayor is ineffective!”

It almost seems impossible to ignore national politics today. The stream of stories about the president and Congress is endless; whether online, in print or on television, it’s never been easier to follow the action.