Local journalism is in a fight for its survival. Since 2004, the United States has lost a quarter of its newspapers, 2,100 in total. And more than 200 of the country's 3,142 counties no longer have a local paper. New legislation or regulation can help stem that tide. Microsoft President Brad Smith testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law about the future of journalism on March 12. During the hearing, Reviving Competition, Part 2: Saving the Free and Diverse Press, Smith advocated for protections for local news and journalism. To read the top takeaways from his testimony, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Last summer, Microsoft launched a global skills initiative to reach 25 million worldwide. Nine months later, the company has helped more than 30 million people, learned from our projects and are ready to launch the next phase in our work. Microsoft and LinkedIn shared details that extends the work, expands the vision and commits Microsoft and LinkedIn to a new promise to help 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021. The companies also announced Microsoft's Career Connector, a new service that will help place 50,000 job seekers skilled by Microsoft's nonprofit and learning partners in tech-enabled jobs in the Microsoft ecosystem in the next three years.

To read the whole announcement, visit the Official Microsoft Blog.

The impact of Covid-19 is being felt in every household, changing the way we live our lives. The pandemic continues to reinforce the drive for cooperation between communities, governments and businesses in order to combat the threat.

In April 2020, we looked at how Microsoft responded to the pandemic in its home state through efforts like donating protective equipment, making boxed lunches for families and using technology to better understand the spread of the virus. Now, nearly a year later, we're sharing six ways Microsoft is pulling together with the community to lend a hand to fellow Washingtonians in 2021. To read more, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Since last January, when Microsoft launched our AI for Health program, we've been dedicated to using AI and data science to help improve the health of people and communities worldwide. As we reflect on how the world has changed this past year due to the pandemic, we want to take a moment to shed light on the great work our grantee partners are doing to tackle some of the most difficult health challenges. Our AI for Health program's commitment is to empower grantees. To date, we have awarded over 180 grants in four areas of focus, which include accelerating medical research, increasing global health insights, addressing health equity and building research capabilities. Read more about Microsoft's AI for Health COVID-19 grantees at Microsoft on the Issues.

Visit Microsoft on The Issues for a front-row seat to see how Microsoft is thinking about the future of sustainability, accessibility, cybersecurity and more. Check back regularly to watch videos, and read blogs and feature stories to see how Microsoft is approaching the issues that matter most. For the latest, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Dating and debates, music festivals and dance classes, work and education – an increasing amount of our social interactions now take place online. With this shift to virtual venues, ensuring kindness and respect in everyday interactions and encounters is more important than ever.

The digital space has become a fundamental part of the national and international conversation, and has also, at times, become a breeding ground for bullying, trolling and hate speech. There is a clear need for more "digital good" to ensure that online encounters have a constructive impact on everyone involved. To learn more about digital good and what it means, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Visit Microsoft on The Issues for a front-row seat to see how Microsoft is thinking about the future of sustainability, accessibility, cybersecurity and more. Check back regularly to watch videos, and read blogs and feature stories to see how Microsoft is approaching the issues that matter most. For the latest, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

A healthy democracy depends on healthy journalism. News organizations aren't getting their share of the revenue their content helps generate. The Australian government has developed an innovative proposal that would require tech gatekeepers to share search revenue with local independent news organizations. Their approach is a potential model for other countries, too. Microsoft supports this approach. To read five fast facts about the proposals, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

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