Op-Ed: Franklin News Foundation and The Center Square serve their critical mission to readers

We live in an unprecedented time.

The COVID-19 outbreak is like nothing that the United States has previously experienced.

High quality, reliable news matters more than ever.

Franklin News Foundation remains fully operational, and continues to provide timely, meaningful and accurate coverage of local, state and federal news to legacy media publishers and broadcasters, and to the public at large.

The Center Square, our national newswire service, never has had a pay wall between its content and readers. Every story we publish is free of charge, and accessible at no cost for republication by legacy media outlets across all platforms.

Amidst this public health concern, The Center Square’s dedicated team of journalists continues to publish dozens of meaningful stories each day – from Illinois and around the country – focused on COVID-19.

Our Illinois Radio Network operation, which provides news and sports content aired by partner radio stations across all 102 Illinois counties, has created a straightforward, no-charge service announcement that focuses on COVID-19 precautions and prevention.

IRN’s NCSA will begin airing Monday morning (March 23, 2020) to the largest connected broadcast audience in the state.

IRN moved quickly on this initiative amid this known public health emergency, and has committed to airing our NCSA as the bulk of our owned-advertising units until further notice.

This week alone, IRN affiliates are scheduled to air this 60-second spot at least 3,700 times across all 102 Illinois counties for the benefit of the 12.7 million people in our home state. Per Nielsen, this NCSA campaign will produce millions of gross impressions across the state as it airs on Illinois Radio Network.

As well, we are making our NCSA available to any and all radio broadcasters across Illinois at no charge.

Credible, factual information is essential – in normal circumstances and in times of concern.

We are all in this together.

We all need to do our part.

We all need access to news and information.

You can count on us to do ours.

On behalf of everyone at Franklin News Foundation, we are proud to provide news and information to the people of our home state of Illinois, and all Americans.

Be well.

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