Changes in communications vehicles are inevitable. Traditional newspapers have morphed into multimedia outlets fighting for their survival. We hear almost daily of furloughs, layoffs, and closings. Social media is replacing many news sources without standards in some cases.
Seasoned journalists are becoming media entrepreneurs. Others are finding new careers.
It is not due solely to the impact of the pandemic. These changes have been in the mix for years. All while the appetite for news and information is at an all-time high. This shift is not without challenges, as extreme views are disguised as legitimate news. Consumers need to use caution when using some of these newly found sources.
One which is in the earliest stages of formation is The Beacon, a developing source of free local/regional news funded by the Kansas Newspaper Foundation. I recently became a Founding Member as I believe they are a needed source of local news.
Surges in news readership show that people are turning to local sources for accurate and trustworthy information during the pandemic. At the same time, many newsrooms are closer to extinction,coinciding with drops in advertising revenue. Nationwide, newspapers and alt-weeklies have announced pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs and reduced printing schedules, with some shutting down altogether. It’s already happening in our communities here in the Midwest.
On May 5, The Beacon is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of unity and giving. Our goal is to reach 100 donors during this campaign, a significant boost toward our sustainability goals. Donors who give $50 or more will become a founding member.
Weather you choose to support The Beacon or another news source you might think about using part of your stimulus check to donate to a local media. NPR stations, PBS stations could also use your support.