News Publishers Deemed 'Essential' Businesses During Pandemic


In Italy, which is currently under lockdown in an effort to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, a debate is waging about the importance of print newspapers. However, when deciding which businesses would be spared during a country-wide shutdown, news publishers and newsstands were deemed essential businesses by the Italian government, and newsstands have even seen a small uptick in business since the lockdown went into effect. You can read more about the situation here.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that media organizations and news publishers would be considered essential businesses and exempt from an upcoing order for 50 percent work reduction in the state. We’ll share the official order once it’s available.

March 17 – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has assured the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) that news publishers are not among the “non-essential” businesses being asked to temporarily close to slow the spread of COVID-19. Pennsylvania publishers can learn more from the PNA here. The PNA also sent a letter to Governor Wolf asking that news publishers’ essential status be upheld during the public health crisis. You can read their letter here.

In Colorado, the Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalitionsent a joint letter to Governor Jared Polis requesting that employees of news publishers be considered “essential” staff during the state of emergency and be given freedom of movement to continue to report and deliver the news. You can read their letter online here.

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