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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: No News Is Bad News

Jon S via Flickr CC

In episode 41, we're tackling the impact of the shutdowns on local news outlets and thinking about the public service of journalism, and reporters and producers as essential information disseminators. We also hear about a proposal to include funds specifically for local news, as papers and broadcasters make impossible choices while they try to cover the pandemic for their communities.

We talk to Editor Julie Ann Grimm from our collaborative partner newsweekly, the Santa Fe Reporter, about staff cuts and how the paper is making it all work. Freelance reporter Ryan Lowery dives into what it's like to cover the news when the news is directly affecting you, too.

Sen. Tom Udall talks about the importance of the fourth estate and why he's calling for funding for struggling local news outlets in the next round of relief from the federal government. Editor Richard Reyes from the Gallup Independent tells us what it's like trying to get his staff to stop working so hard and get some rest. And Karen Coates, president of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter brings us the resources and emergency funds available to journalists.

And a news update: New Mexico doctors and health care administrators are trying to set standards for which patients will be on ventilators if there’s a shortage but say they’re hoping it doesn’t come to that. The state’s Department of Health is also creating nursing homes that are only for people who have COVID-19, according to the Albuquerque Journal. And local news outlets are reporting that people who are using unemployment right now should start seeing that extra $600 the feds promised as early as next week, and it should happen automatically.

We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today.

 How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, and the New Mexico Local News Fund. 

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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