.. some communities in the U.S. lack a local outlet that can tell these stories and provide details about the area’s COVID-19 cases, school and business closures, and other vital news. At the same time, in communities that do have a local news outlet to turn to, local newsrooms have been hit by a severe and sudden decline in revenue, forcing employee lay-offs and furloughs as well as cuts to staff hours and pay.
While the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the critical need for local journalism, it threatens its provision.
Amid the public health crisis, many communities across the U.S. suffer from a lack of local reporting. Of the 2,485 U.S. counties that reported COVID-19 cases as of April 6th, 50% are news deserts (home to only one local newspaper or none at all).
Fifty-seven percent of counties that have reported cases of COVID-19 lack a daily newspaper and 37% saw local newspapers disappear between 2004 and 2019.