Local news is in a state of flux — and Americans aren’t keeping up 

Many members of the general public still believe that local news providers are doing well financially. In a survey from the Pew Research Center, 63% of Americans say their local news outlet is doing “very or somewhat well financially.” That number is down from 71% in 2018. At the same time, the number of people who say they follow local news continues to decline. 

“When people don’t know who journalists are and what they do, they make assumptions and most of the time, those assumptions are negative,” writes Trusting News’ Lynn Walsh. She offers ideas to share who you are with your community — which might help build trust and give people a more accurate understanding of the state of local news. 

The lack of awareness of local news may be a reflection of the shifting landscape. This year, for the first time, more online news sites produced Pulitzer finalists than newspapers did. Joshua Benton at Nieman Lab writes that this year’s awards felt different — either an optimistic sign that online news outlets can produce journalistic excellence, or a pessimistic indication of the demise of award-worthy newspapers despite them still being the largest producers of news. 

News In Focus
Headlines, resources and events aligned with API’s four areas of focus.

Civic Discourse & Democracy

>> Screenshots are one big winner of Meta’s news ban in Canada (Nieman Lab)

News-related Facebook groups have remained active, with many users sharing screenshots of news articles. This means that only headlines and key paragraphs are often shared. 

>> Student journalists are not immune from online hate. They learn from it (Substack, The Nutgraf)

Harassment against student journalists is on the rise, but they are often not prepared for how to deal with it in their journalism coursework. One survey found that 40% of students had left reporting jobs or journalism class as a result of harassment. 

Culture & Inclusion

>> Join us: Using retrospectives to optimize your news coverage

The Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program is offering a workshop with Elite Truong, API’s VP of product strategy, on how retrospective meetings can help optimize your next news project. Join us on Thursday, May 16 from 1 to 2pm ET. 

>> How a focus on diversity has strengthened NPR (Current)

In response to criticism that NPR’s DEI-focused strategy has caused NPR to lose its way, Laura Garbes, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, argues that an increase in diversity has helped them understand communities that are traditionally underserved by public media. 

Community Engagement & Trust

>> Amanda Zamora on advocating for the humanity of audiences with collaborative journalism (Medium, Center for Cooperative Journalism) 

Amanda Zamora, who helped launch The 19th News Network, says the platform is “an essential resource for anyone who wants to see their lived experiences reflected in political journalism.”

>> Trust Tip: 3 strategies for responding to accusations of bias (Trusting News) 

Here are three strategies we hope you’ll keep in mind when you find yourself faced with accusations of bias: See it as an opportunity; establish a counternarrative, and bring the receipts; and find the truth in it. 

Revenue & Resilience

>> New from API: Chattanooga Times Free Press helps readers decide what to eat next with paid newsletter initiative (Better News)

The Chattanooga Times Free Press launched a newsletter that delivers useful news to local food lovers. We hoped this new product would attract people who were not currently reading our newspaper. The goal is to get them to subscribe to the newsletter or, even better, subscribe to the paper. 

>> How I got my first 1,500 newsletter subscribers (Indiegraf)

The Bentonville Bulletin earned 1,652 newsletter subscribers in just over three weeks through a combination of one-on-one recruitment, social media engagement and an advertising deal with a local aggregator. 

What else you need to know

🚀 Vice Media partners with Savage Ventures to relaunch digital brands (Axios)

😲 Gannett fired an editor for talking to Poynter (Poynter) 

📺 Sinclair explores selling roughly 30% of its broadcast stations, sources say (CNBC)

⚖️ Texas’ lawsuit claiming US helped censor conservative news can proceed (Reuters) 

📰 ‘The Office’ spinoff is set at a daily newspaper (The Washington Post) 

Weekend reads

+ How a tiny Chicago news organization won 2 Pulitzers (The New York Times) 

+ Le Monde in English is two years old. The editor-in-chief Elvire Camus shares what Americans are reading. (The Media Mix)

+ Meet AdVon, the AI-powered content monster infecting the media industry (Futurism)

+ How a local broadcaster brought Spanish-language cinema to Central Georgia (LinkedIn, The Pivot Fund)