'The New York Times' To Cover 3 More Local Beats

The New York Timeswill add three new beats to its local news coverage, dedicated to covering the suburbs, rural communities and religion.

The suburbs reporter will be located in the Southwest. The religion reporter will likely cover the South. The reporter covering rural areas will be based in a small town.

The Times’ National Desk currently has a dozen domestic bureaus. 

National editor Marc Lacey announced the job postings on his Twitter account Monday. 

The postings come the same week McClatchy, one of the largest local newspaper companies in the U.S. with over 30 newsrooms, filed for bankruptcy, likely bringing an end to 163 years of family control.

“A lot of what you hear out there is doom and gloom news about the media,” Lacey told Mediaite, which first reported on the Times' local coverage expansion. “There’s all sorts of journalists out there who were laid off, through no fault of their own, and are looking for jobs — and I hope to hear from some of them for these positions.”

The local news industry is in a time of crisis.

In the past 15 years, 1,800 newspapers have shuttered. About 200 counties have no local newspaper, and roughly half the counties in the country have only one, according to a University of North Carolina study. Those communities are living in “news deserts.”

Last summer, the Times launched a campaign in New York to bring attention to its city coverage and appeal to its hometown for support via subscriptions.

Earlier this week, Lacey and Julie Bloom, the deputy editor who runs the Times’ California coverage, announced Manny Fernandez will become the next Los Angeles bureau chief.

He has been the Times’ Houston bureau chief since 2011.

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