Into the Issues

Covering a pandemic: Don’t let fatigue and friction stop you

Just as some people are tiring of taking precautions against the novel coronavirus, helping it spread, I’m sure some newsrooms are tiring of covering it. And that helps it spread, too, by making it seem less of a threat and discouraging precautions.
And I fear that some newsrooms aren’t just tired of covering the pandemic, but have scaled back their coverage because of objections from people who think the pandemic is overblown or even a hoax that will fade after the election.

Amid bad news, a permanent solution to a temporary problem

Since fall 2018, 300 more U.S. newspapers have disappeared, bringing the number over the last 15 years to 2,100. That’s almost 25% of the 9,000 newspapers that were published in 2005.
That’s one upshot of “News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive?,” a report published June 25 by Penelope Muse Abernathy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stepping up to support community newspapers

Politicians have long liked to say this or that is “the challenge of our time.” It’s an over-used phrase, but for those of us born after World War II, the coronavirus pandemic is surely that. And it is especially a challenge for community newspapers because it comes on top of another unprecedented challenge they already faced. How will they respond?

Newspapers need to explain 'How We Work'

Newspapers cover almost every imaginable topic, but when it comes to understanding and explaining their own roles in society, many community newspapers fall short.
They keep doing business and journalism pretty much like they always did, with digital media as a sideline because they can’t make much money at it. Their presence on social media is often desultory and uninspired, even though social media have become the dominant form of mass communication.