One Big Thing: Can local news survive COVID-19?
Question: Do you pay for a local news subscription?
What is it?
- Big Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google have cornered the market on news distribution and in doing so, they also have monopolized the revenue streams gained from advertisements. This has led to significant financial losses for many smaller, local news outlets around the country, forcing many to lay off journalists and employees or shutdown all together.
- As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, increased uncertainty regarding social media misinformation can sow further chaos and confusion.
Why is it important?
- The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press.
- Local news is part of the fabric of American democracy because it serves as an important mechanism of local accountability and a source of reliable news. The unique relationship local journalists have with their communities has led to higher rates of trust than national news outlets.
- Providing audiences with reliable journalism about hometown public health issues is just one of the many reasons local journalism must be kept alive.
- Many philanthropic organizations and individuals have provided lifelines to media initiatives to save local news. Since March 2020, philanthropic funders have pledged over 120 million dollars in response to COVID-19’s impact on journalism around the country, but can that be sustained for the foreseeable future?
What can you do?
- Find out what local news outlets are near you from mylocalpaper.com and check out local news from hometownnews.com
- Learn more about efforts to support local news from the Democracy Fund, the Facebook Journalism Project, and the Knight Foundation.
- Comment on our page to let us know where you get your local news!
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