Poynter: The coronavirus has closed more than 50 local newsrooms across America. And counting.

Poynter: The coronavirus has closed more than 50 local newsrooms across America. And counting.. “In many places, it started with a cut in print days. Furloughs. Layoffs. Just to get through the crisis, newsroom leaders told readers. In some places, none of it was enough. Now, small newsrooms around the country, often more than 100 years old, often the only news source in those places, are closing under the weight of the coronavirus. Some report they’re merging with nearby publications. But that ‘merger’ means the end of news dedicated to those communities, the evaporation of institutional knowledge and the loss of local jobs.”

Google Blog: Playlists that bring the news home

Google Blog: Playlists that bring the news home. “Podcasting is more popular than ever, and news is the fastest-growing category in podcasts. But there often tends to be a focus on national and broader news topics; it’s harder to find on-demand quality audio journalism at the local level, or about things that are personally relevant to listeners…. Last fall, we launched our smart audio news playlist Your News Update on Google Assistant. Now, Your News Update is coming to Google Podcasts to make it easier for millions of podcast users in the U.S. to easily discover and listen to the news that’s especially timely and relevant to them.”

Engadget: Google’s latest local news effort is a dedicated sports hub

Engadget: Google’s latest local news effort is a dedicated sports hub. “With its latest local news initiative, Google wants to give sports fans the chance to read coverage from all of the best reporters who cover professional and college teams at local news publications across the US and Canada. To that end, the search giant is helping the Local Media Consortium, a group made up of local media companies, launch The Matchup.”

NiemanLab: Hundreds of hyperpartisan sites are masquerading as local news. This map shows if there’s one near you.

NiemanLab: Hundreds of hyperpartisan sites are masquerading as local news. This map shows if there’s one near you.. “Using previous research and news reports as a guide, we’ve mapped the locations of more than 400 partisan media outlets — often funded and operated by government officials, political candidates, PACs, and political party operatives — and found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that these outlets are emerging most often in swing states, raising a concern about the ability of such organizations to fill community information needs while prioritizing the electoral value of an audience.”

The Stanford Daily: Students launch web app to provide local news on COVID-19

The Stanford Daily: Students launch web app to provide local news on COVID-19. “To help keep California residents updated on local COVID-19 cases, fatalities and news stories, a team of five students from Stanford; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Southern California developed Close, a web app that organizes information about COVID-19 cases in California by county.”

Google Blog: A Global Journalism Emergency Relief Fund for local news

Google Blog: A Global Journalism Emergency Relief Fund for local news. “The Google News Initiative wants to help by launching a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally. The funding is open to news organizations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and will range from the low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.”

NPR: Facebook Pledges $100 Million To Aid News Outlets Hit Hard By Pandemic

NPR: Facebook Pledges $100 Million To Aid News Outlets Hit Hard By Pandemic. “Facebook says it’s dedicating $100 million to prop up news organizations pummeled by the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Just two weeks ago, the company announced it would devote $1 million to aid local newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada covering the crisis. It turns out, Facebook was already thinking about giving far more.”

DCist: Local News Outlets Face Existential Threat Amid Coronavirus-Related Drop In Revenue

DCist: Local News Outlets Face Existential Threat Amid Coronavirus-Related Drop In Revenue. “Even as local news outlets are seeing record traffic on their websites, one of their main revenue sources is drying up. Advertising for area events and establishments is nearly non-existent thanks to the coronavirus-related cancellations and closures. Media outlets are reacting to the sudden change with layoffs, pay cuts, and calls for reader support.”

NiemanLab: Newsrooms increasingly lack the legal resources to fight the “culture of secrecy” in local governments

NiemanLab: Newsrooms increasingly lack the legal resources to fight the “culture of secrecy” in local governments. “The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press released a report today that summarized the biggest legal challenges that newsrooms face and how additional legal support would help them pursue more investigative journalism. The report found that journalists are being stymied by ‘a culture of secrecy that is pervasive in local and state governments’ while reporting on a wide range of topics.”

Google Blog: Reaching a new generation of news viewers with VidSpark

Google Blog: Reaching a new generation of news viewers with VidSpark. “People in their teens and twenties are looking for content that’s important, but also engaging, fun, and relatable. We don’t need to seek out information; thanks to a variety of social feeds and specialized algorithms, it comes to us. But it doesn’t always come from trustworthy sources. Meanwhile, mainstream local news is struggling to meet young audiences where they are. If they rely only on their traditional methods of distribution, they risk becoming irrelevant to the next generation. With the support of the Google News Initiative, Poynter is announcing VidSpark—a program helping local newsrooms reach younger viewers online with engaging, shareable social video.”

Poynter: This project matches investigative editors to the local newsrooms that desperately need them

Poynter: This project matches investigative editors to the local newsrooms that desperately need them. “Investigative Editing Corps is a project that pairs seasoned investigative editors with local newsrooms. The editors get stipends for their work through foundation funding that supports the project. The newsrooms pay nothing. IEC officially launched last week, almost three years after Ciotta first imagined how investigative editors who’d left the business (either willingly or not) might help the local newsrooms that need them.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points

Columbia Journalism Review: Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points. “An investigation by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has discovered at least 450 websites in a network of local and business news organizations, each distributing thousands of algorithmically generated articles and a smaller number of reported stories. Of the 450 sites we discovered, at least 189 were set up as local news networks across ten states within the last twelve months by an organization called Metric Media.”

NBC 7 San Diego: NBC 7 San Diego History Center Partner to Preserve Decades of Archives

NBC 7 San Diego: NBC 7 San Diego History Center Partner to Preserve Decades of Archives. “The archive, to be held at the San Diego History Center’s Research Archives, consists of video recordings, video tapes, and assorted materials that document the daily journalism of San Diego from the period of 1976 to 2012. Contained in the archives are thousands of interviews and individual stories. The archived materials will be made accessible to the public once inventory and a catalogue have been completed. Due to the size of the archive this may take several years.”

Nieman Lab: This is how Report for America ended up funding a community Wikipedia editor (!) at a library (!!)

Nieman Lab: This is how Report for America ended up funding a community Wikipedia editor (!) at a library (!!). “The entire collaboration involves two positions and three partners. WFAE will house a traditional journalist focusing on local government coverage. That person, though, will work with a second [Report for America] participant with the title of ‘community Wikipedia editor,’ who’ll be based a few days a week in the city’s local public library’s branches. That person will focus on researching and writing up under-covered topics from the library’s archives for Wikipedia articles — in particular those that are relevant to the Charlotte area.”