World Press Freedom Day 2019 - Join The NewsGuild’s campaign to #SaveLocalNews

If you believe in the crucial role that journalism plays in our communities and our democracy,
on World Press Freedom Day join the campaign to #SaveLocalNews.

Across the United States, local and regional newspapers face a mounting crisis. Already
buffeted by competition from digital giants Facebook and Google, newspapers face existential
threats because of predatory hedge funds like Alden Global Capital, which is systematically
gutting Digital First Media newspapers - and now attempting to take over Gannett, the nation’s
largest newspaper chain.

A successful takeover of Gannett by Alden would have disastrous consequences for local news
in communities across the country. “Your newspaper-killing business model is bad for
newspaper workers and retirees, bad for communities, bad for the public, and bad for
democracy,” Sen. Sherrod Brown wrote in a letter to Alden Global Capital’s executives. [1]

The cost of diminished news coverage - or, in some cases, the loss of local newspapers
altogether – is well documented in research about “news deserts” [2] and the harm communities
suffer when they lose access to reliable information needed to make informed decisions.

A recent NiemanLab article put it well: “Local newspapers are basically little machines that spit
out healthier democracies.” [3] Research shows they “increase voter turnout, reduce government
corruption, make cities financially healthier, make citizens more knowledgable about politics
and more likely to engage with local government … (and) make elected officials more
responsive and efficient.”

Sign The NewsGuild’s petition to oppose Alden Global Capital’s hostile takeover bid for Gannett
and, in so doing, join the launch of our broader effort on World Press Freedom Day to
#SaveLocalNews – an essential pillar of local democracy.

More info here:

[1] April 25, 2019 Letter
[2] University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism
[3] April 9, 2019 Nieman Lab

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