In Era Of News Deserts, No Easy Fix For Local News Struggles

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In this April 11, 2018, photo, production workers stack newspapers onto a cart at the Janesville Gazette Printing & Distribution plant in Janesville, Wis. Members of Congress are warning that newspapers in their home states are in danger of cutting coverage or going out of business if the United States maintains recently imposed tariffs on […]

The local news industry hasn’t been the subject of much good news itself lately.
    
Newspaper circulation is down sharply, and so is employment in the newspaper industry. Financial cutbacks have led to the shutdown of nearly 1,800 daily and weekly newspapers since 2004, and given rise to new terminology to describe what’s left in their wake. “News deserts” describes parts of the country no longer covered by daily journalists, while “ghost newspapers” is a term for publications with much more limited circulation and ambition.
    
Facebook’s $300 million donation Tuesday to fund local news initiatives helped put the problem in focus. So did the ownership bid for the Gannett company, publisher of USA Today and several daily newspapers, by a company known for making sharp financial cutbacks.

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