The Cruel Paradox of Trying to Cover COVID-19

The same pandemic making people want more news and information is putting the news business at risk.

Nobody needs to tell you much the Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. We’re all aware of the statistics: Over the last six weeks, tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment, as the spread of the virus continues to ravage virtually every sector of the global economy. That has come with a cruel paradox for the news business.

The hunger for accurate and reliable news, information, and analysis has never been higher, but the steep economic downturn has caused advertising revenue and other sources of financial support to plummet. Dozens of local newsrooms have been forced to lay off staff and some publications have had to pause operations.

Nonprofit news organizations, like the Washington Monthly, are especially at risk, with a decline in ad money and the possibility that grant funding may soon be in short supply.

The Institute for Nonprofit News is coordinating a short #GivingTuesdayNow campaign to help nonprofit news outlets like ours. As a small magazine with an even smaller budget, we rely on the support of our readers. So, if you are able, please make a donation to help us deliver our unique brand of solutions-based journalism at a time when solutions are desperately needed.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been providing the kind of journalism you can’t get anywhere else. We’ve written about how states can transition to vote at home for the November election and avoid running into pitfalls as they adapt to the new system. We’ve laid out how to get rid of surprise medical billing, so you or a loved one don’t get hit with exorbitant fees after visiting the doctor’s office.

At the same time, we’ve been putting pressure on power, with stories on how Trump wasted the best tool he had to fight the coronavirus—the Strategic National Stockpile—and how Big Ag monopolies have resulted in farmers destroying food when grocery store shelves are empty.

If that’s something you appreciate, then please consider helping us by making a donation. If you give $50 or more, you’ll receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the print edition of the Washington Monthly.

Your contributions to the Monthly are vital, tax-deductible, and much appreciated.

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