Adam Schiff: ‘More Places Are Becoming News Deserts, Without Dedicated Journalists to Investigate Corruption’

By Staff | May 21, 2020 | 11:11am EDT
(Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

( - Rep. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.) put out a statement on May 7 applauding the Facebook Journalism Project for providing relief funding to The Eastsider newspaper in Los Angeles.

“Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) applauded local news relief funding awarded to The Eastsider, a neighborhood news blog, through the Facebook Journalism Project,” said Schiff’s release.

“The Eastsider,” it said, “received $94,858 in relief grants to help continue serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Eastsider covers the Eastside of Los Angeles, including several neighborhoods in Rep. Schiff’s Congressional district,” said the release.

“I am deeply worried about the loss of local papers all over the country in communities large and small,” said Schiff.

“It has been going on for years, but the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated these trends, and more and more places are becoming news deserts, without dedicated journalists to investigate corruption, tell local stories and document communities’ histories,” he said.

“I have advocated for further government efforts to support local news during this crisis and beyond, but in the meantime, I am relieved that with the help of this grant funding the Eastsider can continue serving our community,” Schiff said.

On May 7, Facebook announced “that more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the Facebook Journalism Project’s relief fund for local news.”

On March 30, Facebook had announced that it was putting up $100 million in total to support the news industry during the COVID-19 crisis.

An online announcement posted by the Facebook Journalism Project stated:

“The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when journalism is needed more than ever, ad revenues are declining due to the economic impact of the virus. Local journalists are being hit especially hard, even as people turn to them for critical information to keep their friends, families and communities safe.

“Today we’re announcing an additional $100 million investment to support the news industry—$25 million in emergency grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project, and $75 million in additional marketing spend to move money over to news organizations around the world.”

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