News

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.
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.

We found that the topics people thought were most important for local news to cover were local health updates and information about local entities that provide critical services, such as hospitals, grocery stores, and local government.

When it came to the coverage newsrooms provided, we found that posts about how local government was responding to the virus and how local businesses were responding to or affected by the virus were most common.