Iowa Starting Line reported that three local Iowa newspapers went out of business due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. The Daily Iowegian in Centerville, the Pella Chronicle, and the Knoxville Journal Express had each published for more than 130 years but have now merged with other papers.
The papers’ publisher said the virus was a “gut punch”, and that local advertising revenue has nearly dried up due to the economic downturn. The papers that folded are all owned by Alabama-based company C-N-H-I.
In addition, Minnesota Public Radio’s parent company, American Public Media Group, announced that 14 staffers from MPR and American Public Media had taken voluntary buyouts — and about the same number of employees will also be taking voluntary furloughs.
Meanwhile, Poynter has continued on an almost daily basis to keep track of newsroom layoffs.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.