Dear Publishers,

I  wanted to reach out to you to say how much we appreciate the important, difficult work you’re doing right now. My colleagues and I stand with you in your commitment to providing information  that is critical to the safety, security and knowledge of our communities. As the coronavirus pandemic presents unprecedented reporting challenges and growing financial pressures, it’s also underscored the value of great journalism. 

In observance of UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day on May 3 — a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of an independent press — The New York Times will launch a campaign encouraging readers find a local news organization they trust, and to support it through a subscription or donation.

Like many of my colleagues at The Times, I spent years working in local news. We know firsthand the essential role original, quality news organizations play in communities across the nation.  And we’ve been distressed to watch as the pressure on local news continues to rise through the pandemic, leading to an estimated 36,000 journalists being laid off or furloughed in a matter of months. We hope we can help by raising awareness of the importance of supporting local news organizations.

Our campaign will direct readers to a database of local news organizations generated from the member lists of The Institute for Nonprofit News, Local Independent Online News Publishers, and the News Media Alliance. A publisher is eligible to appear in this database if it provides general interest news coverage for a community, city, state, or localized region. The database will be searchable by organization name and location, and will surface links homepages and subscription or donation pages. The campaign will begin running on May 1, 2020. The New York Times ad creative will appear online and in print on Sunday, May 3. 

We will be using #WorldPressFreedomDay within our social copy leading up to and during World Press Freedom Day on Sunday, May 3. 

A.G. Sulzberger

Publisher, The New York Times

*The AFRO is a member of LION (Local Independent Online News)

*Donation opportunities are also available on GiveButter.com/TheAFRO