The coronavirus pandemic has shown the power of print journalism while hastening its decline.
New York Times maps pinpointing virus hot spots across the nation show the authority of the printed page.
Newspaper photos, such as John Spink's outstanding work for the AJC, portray with documentary power how the virus has decimated American society.
Reporters and feature writers have risen to the challenge as ad revenue plummets. The printed page heightens their stories' drama and effectiveness.
Already struggling alternative newspapers are hard-hit victims of the virus, with the disappearance of entertainment advertising. Bigger papers such as the New Orleans and Baton Rouge Advocate and Picayune are laying off staff members.
The AJC staff has heroically covered the emergency, but the newspaper's thin print editions make me wonder how long it can continue at such a high level.
Some online local news operations are doing well, according to a recent New York Times story, and charts and maps are as effective on the screen as on paper.
The crisis has been a boon to subscription-model specialty sites like Boston-based Stat, the first U.S. news operation to write about the coronavirus' emergence in China. Stat was launched by John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Globe and Red Sox, the Times reported.
The blow to American society from the loss of local reporting is being recognized. Facebook, accused of siphoning ad dollars, has announced a $100 million program to help local media, whose readership has soared during the coronavirus outbreak.
As with other aspects of American society, the pandemic will bring major changes to the U.S. media landscape.
Long established newspapers will disappear, but new information sources will rise.
As disinformation spreads like a virus across the Internet, sources of trustworthy news will be more and more vital.
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