Thanks to COVID-19, Local News Will Never be the Same. And It Shouldn’t Be

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our routines, transformed our social interactions and redefined our relationships. Yet, as odd as it sounds, we’ll likely come to appreciate some of the changes this crisis wrought. Panic has a knack for dislodging lethargy.

In local news, this lethargy—in the form of a steadily declining but still significant ad base—was dislodged in sudden, brutal fashion, leading to the shuttering of hundreds of publications and the layoffs or furloughs of thousands of journalists. COVID-19 is the proverbial heart attack that needs to scare journalism straight. It’s time to stop tweeting about how terrible it’d be for there to be no local news and do something to prevent that from happening.

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