No avoiding it: Local news in dire straits just as it’s needed more than ever

Irony runs thick as the public seeks news but finds news sources closing down from lack of ad revenue. In Louisiana, the Times Picayune and the Advocate furloughed 10 percent of its staff and put the rest on four-day work week. The Cleveland Plain Dealer laid off 22 newsroom staff and its health reporter. The Tampa Bay Times can only publish twice weekly. (The Guardian, April 9, 2020, by Adam Gabbatt)

Local newspapers are needed more than ever during a pandemic to inform the public of the testing situation, where to get supplies, the problems face by their hospitals and schools. The current shutdowns continue a trend with 2100 newspapers closing nationwide since 2004. It won’t be easy to revive newspapers given the current state of affairs, but interest is keen and the need is great. New approaches to get communities to rally around their newspapers are now necessary, some suggest reporters and editors meeting community members in informal settings. (SLATE, April 9, 2020, by Mia Armstrong)

For related FAC coverage, click here, here and here.

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