The economic slowdown affecting the U.S. is worsening an already perilous financial situation for local news organizations, especially local newspapers. While Americans are not overly concerned about the effect of the downturn on local news in their area, they do support financial assistance for local news organizations as part of COVID-19 relief legislation. At a time when Americans are paying increased attention to local news and acknowledge its importance in providing information in a time of crisis, they are unlikely to indicate a willingness to personally pay for news if they are not currently doing so. They are also no more likely than a year ago to view local news as a public good that should be supported, even if it can’t sustain itself financially.
These results are from an April 14-20 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey focused on the coronavirus situation, part of Knight Foundation’s Trust, Media and Democracy initiative.