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SXSW 2021

The Fight for Local News

Local news is under assault, and the pandemic has only made the situation more dire. Nearly one in five newspapers has closed over the past decade. Tens of thousands of journalists have lost their jobs, including many in the past year. Tech platforms take in billions from digital ads, while newspapers struggle to find a sustainable business model. Hedge fund and private equity owners have extracted profits by slashing costs. The result is a rapidly shrinking industry with less coverage of vitally important beats that hold local governments, elected officials, and businesses accountable. Against this backdrop, the very basis of our democracy—an informed, engaged citizenry—seems to be under threat. Hear from news leaders on the frontlines of the fight to save local news.

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  1. What role does local news play in our communities? In our democracy?
  2. What impact has the growing polarization in the U.S. had on local outlets?
  3. What steps can be taken to staunch the losses in the local news industry?



Natalie Raabe, Director of Communications, The New Yorker

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Media & Journalism
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: The Rebirth of Business
  • Level: Beginner
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