Local newspapers are facing a coronavirus crisis of their own

Nation/world
Members of the media are seen practicing social-distancing in this file photo. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Members of the media are seen practicing social-distancing in this file photo. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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Just when Americans need it most, a U.S. newspaper industry already under stress is facing an unprecedented new challenge.

Readers desperate for information are more reliant than ever on local media as the coronavirus spreads across the U.S. But newspapers, magazines and digital publishers are feeling the pressure as advertising craters.

They are cutting jobs, staff hours and pay, dropping print editions — and in some cases shutting down entirely.

Some researchers warn that the next recession, which has almost certainly begun already, could be an “extinction level event” for newspapers.

In Washington, the industry is looking for federal aid that won’t compromise its independence.

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