Can Local News Outlets Survive the Pandemic-Fueled Economic Downturn?

“There is no commercial, viable model for local news,” American Journalism Project co-founder John Thornton says

Local newspapers are taking a beating as the novel coronavirus rips apart the American economy and ways of life — with some facing an existential crisis as the duration and severity of the pandemic and its aftermath remains unknown.

Just in the past few weeks, numerous local papers have folded, laid off staff or cut back operations as advertising — the foundation of papers’ revenue — has disappeared with the closures of local restaurants, bars, shops and event venues.

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Lindsey Ellefson

Lindsey Ellefson

Media reporter • lindsey.ellefson@thewrap.com • Twitter: @ellefs0n

J. Clara Chan

J. Clara Chan

Media and politics reporter • jclara.chan@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jclarachan