COVID-19 Is Crushing Newspapers, Worsening Hunger for Accurate Information
According to a Pew Research article, the Staff of The Denver Post wrote an editorial in 2018 calling out its corporate owner, Alden Global Capital, to invest more in its papers. State and local newspapers have been closing at a rapid clip, and the drop in advertising revenue since the onset of COVID-19 has only exacerbated a preexisting financial crisis.
David Erickson got the call directly from the publisher of the Missoulian, the Montana newspaper where he works as a reporter writing about business and housing. You might as well hear it first so you can break the news, the publisher told him earlier in August. The newspaper building, on the riverfront in a highly coveted part of downtown Missoula, was going up for sale for $8.5 million.
Erickson and his colleagues had been working from home during the pandemic, but they hoped to return to their newsroom once it was over. The potential loss of the physical building, owned by Lee Enterprises, felt like a gut punch to an already battered local news operation.
Since 2000, the Missoulian’s editorial staff has dwindled from 40 to 21 employees, similar to newspaper losses around the country. The city’s local news ecosystem had already taken a hit: Lee in 2017 purchased the rival weekly, the Missoula Independent, and shut it down the next year.
“Statehouse reporting is just so incredibly vital for people to understand what’s happening with their government and what’s happening with their local reps,” Galloway said. “And it’s really, I think, the most important way people have of influencing policy as it happens. I just think it’s a really powerful way to connect people with the government.”
To read the full article visit: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/09/08/covid-19-is-crushing-newspapers-worsening-hunger-for-accurate-information?utm_campaign=09-8-2020+SD&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew