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Local News In Crisis Mode


  The news industry has been hard hit in recent years. The rise of online ads and then the Great Recession pushed newspapers into steep decline. Now, with the coronavirus crisis, industry observer Ken Doctor says news faces — gulp — “extinction.”

Of course, that’s not good, but there is a silver lining. Local news outlets across the country have seen big spikes in readership as people turn to them for information about how the crisis is affecting their communities. We’re talking about the challenges facing local news these days and what happens when the news disappears.


  • John Saltas, publisher of Salt Lake City's City Weekly
  • Penny Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
  • Ken Doctor, news industry analyst and the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. He runs the website, newsonomics.com
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.