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As local news coverage shrinks precipitously, study shows only 14 percent of surveyed news consumers have paid for or given money to local news of any kind in the past year, and 71 percent of U.S. adults are under the impression that their local news media are doing well financially. Google announces new plans to support local news sites. The New Yorker reflects on lack of environmental reporting local news media are able to provide to residents of Kentucky’s coal country. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Most Americans Think That Local News Is Doing Well Financially, and Not Many Pay for It
This is possibly less surprising if you keep in mind that many Americans think of “local news” as “TV,” and TV is doing a lot better than newspapers: 77 percent of those surveyed say TV is doing “very” or “somewhat well” financially; 64 percent say the same of print, and people who prefer print are also more likely to pay for news.

Google Wants to Bring Local News Back to Underserved Cities
Google and newspaper publishing company McClatchy announced a new partnership that will aim to develop sustainable business models for local news publications. The companies will be teaming up to create the Compass Experiment, which will provide local news coverage to three mid-sized communities in the U.S that currently suffer from a dearth of sources of information.

Shrinking Newspapers and the Costs of Environmental Reporting in Coal Country
A year ago, the last Kentucky newspaper staffer dedicated to the environmental beat full-time left his job. He was not replaced. “[Some of the poorest states in the country] are still, and will always be, dealing with the environmental aftermath of mining, and there are fewer local reporters there paying attention.”

Facebook Bans White Nationalism and White Separatism
After a civil rights backlash, Facebook will now treat white nationalism and separatism the same as white supremacy, and will direct users who try to post that content to a nonprofit that helps people leave hate groups.


Egypt ‘Conditionally Releases’ Detained Journalist
An Egyptian court ordered the “conditional release” of prominent journalist Hisham Gaafar. The head of the Mada Association for Media Development, Gaafar was remanded in custody in 2015 for alleged links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group-an allegation he denies. He must report to a local police station every week.

#MeToo Reaches Mexico: Majority of Women in Media Report Harassment at Work
The #MeToo movement has reached Mexico’s creative and media industries as hundreds of journalists, academics, writers and film-makers turned to social networks to share incidents of sexual harassment and abuse.

Moscow Enlists Youth Agency in Campaign to Censor Online Content
Russia’s Federal Agency for Youth Affairs now has the power to block websites and online content it considers harmful to children, as part of the government’s broad effort to build a comprehensive system for monitoring the internet.

Eleven Female Saudi Activists Appear in Riyadh Court
Reporters and foreign diplomats were barred from entering the courtroom and escorted from the building despite petitioning the authorities to attend the trial, which has drawn sharp criticism in the west.

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