Critical in a public health crisis, COVID-19 has hit local newsrooms hard


.. 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.

Source: Critical in a public health crisis, COVID-19 has hit local newsrooms hard

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