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News Outlets Should Lift the Paywall for Bank Failure Coverage

Dear news decision makers: I’m a consumer and an active participant in my local community—these days. In times past, I worked alongside you. I know the pressure you’re under 24/7 to get it right, to break and break down the big stories, to build your audiences so your ownership is pleased and stockholders paid, and to serve and grow your talent. And may I tell you something? You’re doing an AMAZING job. You’re remaining objective and digging deeper even as some forces try to dismantle the free press and effectively try to shut down democracy. You’re hiring hard-working talented journalists who care for and strive to understand the communities you serve and cover.

When the presses stopped rolling every day, when local broadcast outlets were bought up by big corporations, and when the demand for profits stressed your operations to the point where you had to make difficult decisions and unheard-of changes, skeptics thought you were done. You were not. You reinvented your business model to truly serve your audiences. You’ve done a much better job than I did when I was a news manager. Thank you. As consumers, we should all support local news outlets, including the outstanding nonprofit organizations. There’s no question about that. But here’s an ask: Can you lift your paywall for the stories covering the current and fluid bank failure situation? Many of you are doing thoughtful interviews with economists and local experts from your community credit unions and regional financial institutions that could help us all to manage our finances and fears— and we can’t see all of your stories. During the pandemic, some of you offered open coverage of stories related to COVID. It helped, tremendously. Please recognize we need you again. If you do so you will likely pick up some new and loyal supporters. Thank you.

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