Staff at The Miami Herald,Vox Media and New York Media are asking readers to contribute to funds that will support reporting, as well as employees affected by furloughs, while the industry deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need your help. Coronavirus has brought unanticipated and significant challenges to our families and our South Florida communities,” reads “The Miami Herald Coronavirus Reporting Fund - COVID-19 Local News Fund” on fundraising platform Givebutter.
The Miami Herald says its team published more than 1,700 stories in March and April.
“The pandemic has brought layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions to newsrooms large and small, including the SunSentinel, Miami New Times, and the Palm Beach Post. We’re fighting like mad to hold the line, like many local businesses, and so far we’ve done so thanks to your readership and support via digital and print subscriptions,” reads the page.
It continues: “Your tax-deductible gift can ensure we continue to report on the coronavirus and all of its impacts across our diverse communities.”
The fund aims to raise $350,000. All donations will be used for COVID-19 related local news coverage. As of Friday afternoon, the fund had raised nearly $20,000.
The fund is administered by the Local Media Foundation, affiliated with trade association Local Media Association.
Vox Media workers created a fund last month to support employees impacted by the company’s furloughs. Last week, over 100 Vox Media employees were furloughed and will be without pay for three months.
“Collectively, we can help ease the financial burden these furloughs will have on our colleagues,” the GoFundMe page reads.
All donations will go to furloughed employees and permalancers who opt into the fund by May 15.
The fund is being overseen by a committee that includes Andrew Losowsky, Ashok Selvam, Amy McCarthy, Jaya Saxena and Mariya Abdulkaf. As of Friday afternoon, the fund had raised $84,910 of its $100,000 goal.
New York Media also has a fund for employees who were furloughed or had their hours docked. The impact of COVID-19 has affected employees at New York Magazine, the Cut, Grub Street, Intelligencer and Vulture. So far, the fund has raised $8,834 of its $30,000 goal.
“These measures affect our entire video team, writers across our verticals, and other employees outside the editorial unit, who are just as essential to our workplace and the work we do,” reads the GoFundMe page.