NEW YORK, New York — To coincide with UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, The New York Times is promoting hundreds of local news outlets, including the Rio Grande Guardian.

World Press Freedom Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of an independent press.

In honor of the day, the Gray Lady has launched a campaign encouraging readers find a local news organization they trust, and to support it through a subscription or donation. 

The campaign directs readers to a database of local news organizations generated from the member lists of The Institute for Nonprofit News, Local Independent Online News Publishers, the National Association of Hispanic Publishers, News Media Alliance, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. 

A publisher is eligible to appear in the database if it provides general interest news coverage for a community, city, state, or localized region. 

The Rio Grande Guardian, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, qualifies for inclusion as a member of LION.

The database is searchable by organization name and location, and links to homepages and subscription or donation pages. The campaign will began running on May 1, 2020.

In a letter to local news media publishers, A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, wrote:

“I  wanted to reach out to you to say how much we appreciate the important, difficult work you’re doing right now. My colleagues and I stand with you in your commitment to providing information that is critical to the safety, security, and knowledge of our communities. As the coronavirus pandemic presents unprecedented reporting challenges and growing financial pressures, it’s also underscored the value of great journalism.”

Sulzberger said that like many of his colleagues at NYT, he spent years working in local news. 

“We know firsthand the essential role original, quality news organizations play in communities across the nation. And we’ve been distressed to watch as the pressure on local news continues to rise through the pandemic, leading to an estimated 36,000 journalists being laid off or furloughed in a matter of months. We hope we can help by raising awareness of the importance of supporting local news organizations,” Sulzberger said.

Steve Taylor, publisher of The Rio Grande Guardian, said: “I would like to personally thank A.G. Sulzberger and The New York Times for recognizing and supporting our work and that of other members of the Local Independent Online News Publishers.

“For 15 years we have operated our international news service in one of the most challenging parts of North America, the south Texas-northern Tamaulipas border region. Today, with the economy blown off course by the coronavirus pandemic, the challenge is greater than ever. 

“But, we are proud of our work and determined to succeed in providing important border news, information, and analysis to our readers, listeners and viewers.” 

Quality journalism takes time, effort and…. Money!

Producing quality journalism is not cheap. The coronavirus has resulted in falling revenues across the newsrooms of the United States. However, The Rio Grande Guardian is committed to producing quality news reporting on the issues that matter to border residents. The support of our members is vital in ensuring our mission gets fulfilled. 

Can we count on your support? If so, click HERE. Thank you!

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