Communal News Work: COVID-19 Calls for Collective Funding of Journalism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionDigital Journalism. 2020, 8 (5), 673-680. 10.1080/21670811.2020.1763186
It is widely held that journalism, journalists and news all play important roles for democracy and an informed citizenry. News publishers have journalistic authority and are oftentimes seen as one of the most important knowledge-producing institutions in society, routinely carrying out epistemic practices that strive towards producing verified and reliable news about public affairs. The COVID-19 pandemic has forcefully reminded us about this vital information function of the news media, with a surge in traffic to mobile applications and news sites around the world. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is simultaneously crushing the advertising business that plays such a vital role in funding news production. This commentary argues that many journalistic institutions - particularly on the local level - currently face an existential crisis, one that calls for immediate and collective action. With a normative desire of saving journalism, we put forward that society should engage in what we refer to as communal news work as an attempt to financially sustain journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and well into the future.