None of this should come as a surprise, especially not to Pittsburghers. Nearly three-quarters of Americans told the Pew Research Center before the pandemic that they think local news outlets are doing all right financially — and only 14 percent are paying anything for news.

If the crisis has done anything, Abernathy said she hopes it has made the public more aware of the challenges newspapers face.

“One of the things that I think has been beneficial about the coronavirus is it has gotten people to understand when you lose local news, you lose something very, very important,” Abernathy said. “That is the ability to get the information to just make everyday decisions that can affect the quality of your life today as well as into the future.”

She has one piece of advice for anyone who appreciates local news and does not want to see it go away: “If you can afford it, buy a subscription. That’s the simplest thing you can do.”

Comings & Goings

Photographer Michael Santiago, who announced on Twitter that he is leaving the Post-Gazette, talked with the newspaper at his alma mater, Syracuse University, about his frustrations since management removed him and reporter Alexis Johnson from covering the Black Lives Matter movement.

Santiago also offered this advice for student journalists of color who sense that something is wrong at their workplace or school: “Don’t stay silent. Protect one another and also just work hard. Unfortunately, that phrase (about how) we (journalists of color) have to be twice as good as our counterparts unfortunately is true in this business.”

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