By Emilie Lutostanski • Director, Local News Resource Center

The COVID-19 Local News Fund program enables local news organizations to fundraise for vital, educational and local reporting of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Since launching at the end of March, the fund program has enabled more than 231 local news organizations to sustain their coverage, with the support of more than 2,600 donors and a total of more than $850,000 as of May 4, 2020.

In just over a month, many of the 10,000+ individual donors have explained why they were compelled to donate to their local news organization, and the sentiments capture the importance and value of local news, and it’s clear to many donors, the mission to provide critical, factual information and sustained accountability at a local level has never been more important. These are just a few of the comments offered by COVID-19 Local News Fund program supporters.

“Record-Journal … thanks for all the valuable services you have provided for our local communities now and in the past. Your organization has been truly inspirational. I do hope that individuals in your coverage area realize just how significant you are and will donate to keep alive the need for the crucial messaging you give on a daily basis.”
— Dave Finnance, supporter of Record-Journal 

“This publication is so needed and valuable in our community right now! Thank you for all you do in making sure that local news reporting stays alive in Northern Colorado.”
— Jeptha Bernstein, supporter of North Forty News

“A local newspaper like the Recorder is so important in a community, and even more so at times like these.”
— John Cariddi, supporter of Greenfield Recorder

“The Press Herald lets us step out our front door and survey the town common in all its joy, sadness, rancor and goodness. It’s a great investment as a subscription AND donation.”
— Anthony Payne, supporter of Portland Press Herald

“Thank you Sarah and other journalists for working to report rapidly changing news developments such as closures, new cases and restrictions. Thank you for asking tough questions, while also telling of the extreme challenges we face. Thank you for capturing moments of heart-wrenching struggle and uplifting acts of kindness. We need you more than ever!”
— Jay Smith, supporter of Raleigh Convergence

“I may have grumbled about the shrinking paper, but I will complain much louder if your voice is silenced.”
— Tom Baldridge, supporter of The Bellingham Herald Coronavirus Reporting Fund

“We need the Bee, now more than ever. Strong, independent voices — even ones we disagree with — are essential to good government and community progress. Facts need to be verified and truth needs to be tested. The Bee is not always right, but it always addresses important issues.”
— Mark Friedman, supporter of The Scaramento Bee

“Local news is so important. It is the community heartbeat!”
— Ellen Hendrickx, supporter of Rivertowns Enterprise

“After letting the dog out and making coffee, the first order of business is to read the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune. A free press with unbiased coverage is vital to our country, especially in these unsettled times. It can be kind of depressing to look down the street when retrieving the papers to see only 3-4 driveways with papers in them.”
— Alice South, supporter of Daily Herald

“Continue sound journalism, play no favorites, be the voice of the weak and the powerless.”
— Leonard Marshall, supporter of The Kansas City Star

“The Amsterdam News has been the voice of Americans of African decent for well over a hundred years. It has chronicled the plight of the African-American for decades, and a plight it has been; and still is. The COVID-19 is clear proof of that. I encourage young New Yorkers to search the archives of the Amsterdam News and learn the history of African-Americans in New York City. My heart is still in Harlem, I wish I could donate more.”
— Alwin Woodall, supporter of the New York Amsterdam News

“Local news cannot become collateral damage from the pandemic. Keep up the valuable work you are doing, stay safe, and thank you for the continuing service you’re doing for your readers.”
— Luanne R Napoli, supporter of Portland Press Herald

“We all rely on the Outlook and other local newspapers. They support us by having reporters and editors who can get to the bottom of that rumor that’s going around, and really local advertising. Making the decision to return the favor? That’s easy!”
— Patton Echols, supporter of Gresham Outlook

“I’ve had more time to read since staying home and am struck by the quality of reporting in this country. Let’s support these talented and objective reporters. It’s not a Democracy if we don’t.”
— Barbara Birney, supporter of Newberg Graphic


If you are in a position to do so, consider joining these supporters by selecting a local news organization from our list of 200+ newsrooms fundraising for pandemic reporting through the COVID-19 Local News Fund program.