As our country takes on several crises at once, local journalism has risen to be more important than ever. But for anyone that has been paying attention to the local journalism scene in recent years, you will have noticed that it’s under attack more than ever, too.
Even in media markets such as Detroit’s, where two dailies currently thrive, we’ve seen those respective newsrooms hit by cuts and layoffs, long before the pandemic forced all industries to make harsh decisions to survive past the year 2020.
But in the wake of the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — and the racial justice crisis our country has faced since the inception of the United States of America — we cannot let the reporting out of local newsrooms be undermined by forces that seek to prioritize nefarious interests.
Those interests can be anything from private-equity buyouts to a president with a fragile ego who doesn’t like it when someone prints mean words about him. In whatever case, the attack on local journalism is by design.
But when we want to find more information on the reopening of businesses in our local communities, where do we turn? When we need to find the latest information on the stay-at-home orders from the governor, where do we turn? When we want to find the most current information about how an ever-changing and unprecedented virus spreads, where do we turn?
When we want updates about the uprisings in our streets demanding justice and liberation for Black lives, where do we turn? When we want to see who in community and elected leadership is taking what stand in support of — or against — the liberation of Black lives, where do we turn?
As our nation combats the constant misinformation spread on our social media feeds, it's been local news outlets such as the Metro Times that we've been able to rely on as a trustworthy source to keep us in the loop about the news that matters most to us.
As we enter the latter half of the calendar year and inch closer to November’s Election Day and the fall semester for school districts, supporting local journalism is how we can ensure we have the answers we need.
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Metro Times by joining our new Press Club.
Diana Hussein is a Digital Communications Specialist for labor union UNITE HERE International.
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