(NewsReady.com) – Overlooking some industries is easy to do these days, especially as we focus on those that are essential, like grocery stores and delivery services. Local businesses are being hit hard and many are receiving assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling for the PPP to cover local newspapers and broadcasting stations.
News organizations were already in trouble before this pandemic with a 25% reduction of newsroom employment between 2008 and 2018. It’s estimated that 1,800 newspapers have closed down since 2004. Gannett Co., the largest newspaper publisher and parent company to papers like the Los Angeles Times, is slashing its expenses this year by $100 to $125 million.
Meg James, a journalist at the Los Angeles Times, tweeted about why local newspapers are so important.
Coronavirus is devastating newspapers: “I don’t think people fully understand the impact of having accurate information and the watchdog function, and the changes that can bring,” said Jeff vonKaenel, owner of Sacramento's now-closed alternative weekly. https://t.co/jUwNGvkyYq
— Meg James (@MegJamesLAT) April 17, 2020
People may tend to pay attention to national news sources, but ground-level reporting frequently comes from local sources. Newspapers and broadcast stations offer coverage tailored to their community, playing an essential role in keeping that community connected. As it stands now, the COVID-19 outbreak is wreaking havoc on local newspapers at a time when local news is essential.
~Daily News for Busy People!
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