Associate Publisher Bethany Ruhe told me the newspaper faces the same challenges as any other business that relies on advertising for revenue. When the crisis first happened, she and Deitch decided to stop printing a newspaper temporarily because it costs so much and fewer people are going out to pick it up.

“We rely on theaters, bars and restaurants, and those are the very things that are not only just not open right now but that also don’t know when they will reopen,” Ruhe said.

Many local publications are looking for financial support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ones like Pittsburgh Current do not have a corporate parent to help cover expenses, and as private businesses, they cannot qualify for many foundation grants.

Paradoxically, many news sites are seeing record traffic to their websites. If you value local journalism (and if you have made it this far in the column, you do), please support the people doing the work with a subscription or donation.

The founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, Andrew Conte writes the On Media column at NEXTpittsburgh with support from The Heinz Endowments. You can find all of his columns here, and you may reach him at