Rebuild Local News is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advances public policies to counter the collapse of local news, revitalize community journalism and strengthen democracy.
The groups that came together to form this coalition represent a broad swath of the field — rural weeklies and historic Black newspapers, for-profits and nonprofits, publishers and labor unions, and many others. The groups in this alliance represent more than 3,000 local newsrooms, with a special emphasis on medium and small players. The Coalition also includes new nonprofit and philanthropic organizations pushing to create a better and more inclusive local news system than has ever existed before.
We came together out of a conviction that the local news collapse represents a severe crisis for communities and for democracy. The shortage of local reporting leads to more corruption, waste, pollution, injustice and ineffective government; lower voter turnout and even bond ratings. Just as important, it helps exacerbate polarization and the fraying of communities.
We are convinced that while public policy is not the only piece of the puzzle it absolutely can and must play an important role. These policies can and must be crafted with an eye toward protecting editorial independence.
The nonpartisan Coalition was instigated in 2020 by Steven Waldman, initially incubated at the GroundTruth Project and Report for America. In January of 2023, the Coalition spun out as an independent organization, now housed at a new nonprofit called Rebuild Local News.
Policy efforts to help local news should be:
- Content-neutral, nonpartisan, and ensure editorial independence
- Future-friendly, potentially helping both existing local players and innovators
- Helping local news organizations develop sustainable models
- Especially helping community-grounded media including diverse, nonprofit or family-owned news organizations
- Resulting in communities having more local reporters