Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Half of the surviving U.S. newspapers will be gone by 2021, Nicco Mele, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, tells the Wall Street Journal.

Driving the news: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans laid off its entire staff after being sold to its rival New Orleans Advocate.

The big picture: Many local papers have already folded after failing to transition print customers into paying digital subscribers. With the resources to spend on digital experiments, national papers like the Washington Post and New York Times have become the exception, while local outlets' ad sales have largely been sucked up by Google and Facebook.

  • "Nearly 1,800 newspapers closed between 2004 and 2018, leaving 200 counties with no newspaper and roughly half the counties in the country with only one, according to a University of North Carolina study" reported by the Journal.
  • Mid-sized papers with circulations between 100,000 and 200,000 have been hurt the most as a result of their inability to weather high publishing costs as print ads have disappeared, per the WSJ's analysis. Online ads are a fraction of the price of print ads.
  • Consolidation has become the answer for some mid-sized and smaller papers. Gannett Co. now has the largest newspaper chain by circulation — 6.9 million.

The bottom line: The loss of local newspapers creates "news deserts," with Americans less informed on the issues that matter to their region. Many turn to national news sources like cable news to understand national politics, often driving greater political polarization.

Go deeper: Rural areas are hardest hit by the death of American newspapers

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Updated 54 mins ago - Science

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along areas including the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,328,238 — Total deaths: 964,839— Total recoveries: 21,503,496Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,857,967 — Total deaths: 199,884 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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