by Sam Hieb
I’ll just cut to the chase because anyone paying attention knows that– like the rest of us—- the newspaper business is suffering from the fallout of coronavirus–especially a bankrupt media company like McClatchy.
In today’s Charlotte Observer, executive editor Sherry Chisenhall pleads for help:
We all began March in a starkly different place than we began April.
Like nearly all of you, our business — and the work and personal lives of our Observer team — has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic and the fallout from it.
But our journalists are continuing to work night and day to report the information you want and need in uncertain times: urgent updates on the spread of the virus and response to it, information to help you and your family stay safe, news about resources available as our community eventually begins recovery and much more.
…But as this pandemic delivered an economic shock to our economy, many local businesses have pulled back their marketing and advertising while they shut down temporarily or scale back service. As a result, advertising revenue for local newspapers across the country has fallen dramatically. That business impact has put many newsrooms in dire circumstances, and is likewise impacting ours.
We need your help.
Chisenhall adds that if you’re already a subscriber—as I am–you can help in another way–donate to Report for America to help the Observer add a journalist and extend the existing RFA reporting position covering the affordable housing beat.
Naturally I was interested to see reader reaction, and it was not kind:
….if you hired actual journalists, rather than agenda pushers, I’d consider a donation. However, I’m sure their marching order come from the top….
….I would be willing to subscribe if you would start presenting balanced news.
Being a shill for the Democrat Party does not motivate me to support you….
…I’m with ya. I’m a pretty liberal guy, but when the Observer’s putting out articles suggesting the novel virus is racist, I’m over it. They absolutely have an agenda.
Here’s the bottom line–McClatchy’s bankruptcy tells us people weren’t supporting the newspaper industry when times were good; how are they expected to do so when there’s no money coming in and they’re having trouble paying their mortgage or their employees or their health insurance? The news industry is just going to have to ride this out—- like the rest of us.