The NewsGuild is dedicated to building a sustainable future for the news industry, because we believe that working journalists must help Save The News. As the largest union representing media workers in the U.S., we are fighting for our members’ jobs and for work they do, which is essential to a free society.
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare many of the problems facing the news business at the height of a grave international crisis. Amid a global pandemic, civil unrest, economic upheaval and heated political debate, newsrooms across the country saw an unprecedented wave of closures, furloughs and layoffs.
But the crisis facing local news was brewing long before COVID-19 took hold. In the last decade, the number of local newspaper journalists was cut in half, down from over 70,000 to just 35,000. Many cities and towns lost local news coverage entirely. At least 2,100 newspapers across the U.S. have folded since 2004, and 1,300 communities have become “news deserts.” Five powerful corporations now own 74% of daily newspapers.
The business model that sustained American journalism for decades has collapsed as advertisers abandoned news publications in favor of a handful of tech companies.
In the face of this emergency, the NewsGuild fought successfully in 2020 to expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to include more news organizations. This addition to the pandemic relief bill helped news organizations stay afloat and helped save jobs.
In 2021 we advocated for the introduction of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, which would provide tax credits for news companies based on the number of journalists they employ. Linking the tax credits to jobs will generate revenue for the news outlets, protect jobs, and strengthen local journalism.
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act was introduced in the House in June 2021 and in the Senate in July 2021, but has not been voted on.
The Save The News campaign is a fight for long-term solutions to the crisis facing the news industry by advocating for public policy that will:
- Breakup corporate ownership of news organizations.
- Provide incentives for financial investors to sell news organizations to civic-minded, local investors.
- Provide grants, tax credits and new revenue for news organizations, and ensure that additional money is spent in newsrooms and not padding a corporate bottom line.
- Increase access to government records.
- Protect journalists and their sources from prosecution.
For more information visit SaveTheNews.org.