As long as there have been nationwide newspaper chains in control of local newsrooms, the locals have dreamed of secession.
Now, the mayor of Sacramento, Baltimore cronies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and the Chicago Tribune’s newsroom union have broken out in open rebellion, with support from a variety of civic organizations. All three movements seek local control of local papers.
The pandemic may be helping those who hope to restore local ownership of newspapers. Ad revenues had already been falling since 2006, the Pew Research Center has shown, but the economic freeze-up has revealed local newsroom vulnerability at precisely the moment they are widely recognized as a civic necessity with reader demand for news setting records.