News

While national news consistently tells the story of infection rates, the death toll, and COVID-driven unemployment numbers via sidebar graphics; local news is sharing essential information about the implications of local infection rates and places to be tested; financial support for families in need; as well as humanizing members of the community who succumb to the virus — information residents want and need.
Local news allows us to remain informed about our government, school boards and elections. Like the story last year about former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who was indicted on fraud over sales of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books.
As the NewsGuild continues to encourage bipartisan Congressional support for S.B. 3718, NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss penned a letter to Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to further underscore the need for local news in our communities.
As essential workers, journalists are a critical resource for providing the people of New Hampshire with local reporting on what’s happening in their communities. This includes life-saving public health information about the impact of COVID-19 in their areas, particularly as the pandemic’s course takes new directions every day.
Many readers in Washington state might not realize just how bad things are out there for communities that, in recent decades, have lost their local weekly or daily newspapers or seen their newspapers reduced to what are being referred to as “ghost newspapers,” as Sullivan refers in her book title. Newspapers in Spokane, Vancouver, Seattle, Yakima and Walla Walla have in-state owners, though struggling with market changes, are faring better.
Meanwhile, the local news industry is enduring dire circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Advertising revenue has diminished as businesses are making an effort to combat the virus, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts for thousands of journalists. Journalists, like many others, are essential workers, and New Jerseyeans depend on local publications to receive targeted information pertaining to their communities.
In the past five months, Congress has responded to the coronavirus public health crisis with several emergency relief measures, including the stimulus checks sent to individuals and households, payroll protections to small businesses, expanded unemployment payments and fee waivers for borrowing against 401(k) plans.

Our founders recognized as much when they enshrined protections for a strong free press in the Constitution. We’ve seen the commitment local journalists bring to this role, as local news organizations continue to churn out daily reporting on life-saving public health info on COVID-19 in their regions. Despite facing existential financial threats, many of these outlets are even making their COVID-19 coverage free to all readers as a public service.