President and CEO of the News Media Alliance, David Chavern, and CEO of America’s Newspapers, Dean Ridings, which represent thousands of local news publishers across the United States, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Nanci Pelosi, outlining the struggles of local news publishers, which are facing an existential crisis of their own as the COVID-19 health crisis evolves. In particular, the rapid contraction of advertising markets is dealing a brutal blow to an industry where business models were already deeply difficult.
While many publishers have seen increases in online traffic and digital subscriptions, the additional revenue has in no way made-up for the sharp losses in ad revenue. The News Media Alliance has often made the case that the online environment, generally, does not adequately reward the production and distribution of quality journalism. While that is bad in every circumstance, in the current environment it could prove fatal – both to publishers and the public.
View the letter here.