For the 74's publisher, nothing has been hit as hard by the pandemic as education: "Overnight, kids were basically told 'everything changes," said Jim Roberts, publisher of The 74, on this week's edition of the Digiday Podcast.
Launched in 2015, The 74 — short for the estimated 74 million children in the United States — is a nonprofit covering education and now, the extent it has been disrupted and transformed by the coronavirus crisis.
One of The 74's central focuses before the pandemic was the achievement gap — along socio-economic and racial inequalities —and other entrenched problems in America's education system.
"That crisis to me just exploded exponentially as a result of the pandemic," Roberts said. "If you were poor and disadvantaged before the pandemic and you were struggling to get a quality education, I can imagine that it is just exponentially more difficult now."
Roberts is new to the nonprofit game — he joined The 74 earlier this month. But he sees one common goal for any publication looking to survive — get people to click, make them feel rewarded for doing so and get them to come back for more.
The 74 is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Walton Family Foundation and other groups.