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Newspapers appear to be going away, but 132 newspaper publishers were still in existence in the Bay Area in 2017, the latest U.S. Census Bureau data show.

One of the latest papers to close shop was the Martinez News-Gazette, which folded at the end of 2019 after 161 years of publication.

Among the region’s nine counties, San Francisco had the most newspaper publishers at 27 followed by Santa Clara and Alameda counties each with 25. The rest of the Bay Area counties had fewer than 20 each. 

The U.S. Census Bureau defines newspaper publishers as establishments that carry out operations necessary to produce and distribute newspapers in print or online, including gathering news; writing news columns, features and editorials; and selling and preparing advertising.1. San Francisco — 272. Santa Clara County — 253. Alameda County — 254. San Mateo County — 165. Contra Costa County — 126. Solano County — 97. Sonoma County — 88. Marin County — 59. Napa County — 5Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage California, a progressive democracy advocacy group, said local news is important. Equally important, he said, is having readers who pay for it.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Courage California

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.