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Save the News

CWA launches a campaign to save local newsrooms

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by Guest Post on
May 22, 2020

On Monday, the NewsGuild-CWA launched a new advocacy campaign called Save The News to make the case that local newsrooms must be included in future federal recovery efforts to support essential industries.

Although journalists are covering the biggest story of their lives, the news industry is fighting for survival. Local news outlets have been damaged for years by tech giants that have siphoned away advertising revenue and by private equity owners that have hollowed out the industry with extreme cost-cutting measures.

Since 2004, the U.S. has lost approximately 1,800 newspapers, many of them small papers outside of major cities. Each of these losses hurts communities deeply, taking away the important functions local news plays in residents' lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the devastation. Advertising revenue has dried up as businesses shuttered to combat the virus. This has led to layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts for tens of thousands of journalists. At the same time, readers are turning to local news outlets in record numbers in search of accurate, up-to-the-minute information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their communities.

The Save The News campaign calls for recovery measures that will keep reporters on the streets, ad representatives working the phones, digital production staff posting online, press operators churning out papers, and drivers delivering them to readers' doors.

"I am humbled to see so many members of our industry unite under one cause: protecting local journalism," said NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss. "Americans need access to information about their local communities more than ever, and yet layoffs and furloughs are only increasing as this pandemic continues. Congress needs to act to save the news before it's too late."



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