Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Funds launched to help local news organizations fund-raise from audiences, increase local coverage of covid-19

Several news-media organizations have launched funds aimed at helping local newspapers more quickly and easily begin fund-raising and accepting tax-deductible donations.

The New England Newspaper & Press Association announced the creation of its News Fund of New England in late April; the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation announced its Wisconsin Community News Fund on June 27. Both seek to help local newspapers stay afloat at a time when advertising revenue has taken a steep dive.

A similar venture has a slightly different focus: the Local Media Association has launched the Covid-19 Local News Fund, which aims to help independent and family-owned news organizations fundraise donations so they can increase coverage of covid-19 issues at the local level.

Ensuring that local news media can provide clear, reliable information about the pandemic is imperative, since conflicting messages about the pandemic from scientists, politicians and social media has likely helped the virus spread. Because the pandemic has become so politicized, Republicans—who are disproportionately rural—tend to take the threat of the virus less seriously, Shefali Luthra reports for Kaiser Health News.

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