The New York Timesis launching a digital and print campaign to encourage readers to support local news organizations in honor of UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day.
The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of an independent press.
The Times is directing readers to a database it created of local news organizations, generated from the member lists of a number of associations that support and represent news outlets producing original reporting.
Those organizations include The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), the National Association of Hispanic Publishers (NAHP), the News Media Alliance (NMA) and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).
The database page reads: “News organizations near you are at risk. Support them today.”
At least 36,000 workers at U.S. news companies have been laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Times.
“Local journalism is in crisis and at risk of disappearing,” the Times page reads. “These vital resources are critical to the safety, security and knowledge of our communities, never more so than in these difficult times.”
Users can enter their city, state or name of a news organization into the database. Local news organizations pop up accordingly, with links to their sites and where to subscribe or contribute.
A publisher is eligible to appear in the database “if it provides general-interest news coverage for a community, city, state or localized region,” according to the newspaper.
Ads for the campaign will run online starting today; they will appear in the print newspaper on Sunday, May 3, on World Press Freedom Day.
The print ad calls “struggling” local publications “the vital sources that help our communities understand what a global phenomenon means at home; that provide crucial specific guidance during a crisis; and that seek to tell the full story behind local decisions that can affect us and our neighbors for generations.”
The creative behind the campaign was created in-house, by The New York Times marketing team.