The Youngstown Vindicator will close at the end of August, bringing to an end 150 years of publishing in the Mahoning Valley. The announcement, now nearly two weeks old, still is jarring, and disheartening, especially to those in the newspaper industry. The figure often is cited about roughly 1,800 newspapers nationwide ending operations the past 15 years. Those closures mostly have involved weekly papers or mergers within a city. This is different.

Youngstown, with a population of nearly 65,000 people, and more than 500,000 in the metropolitan area, will lack a daily newspaper dedicated to reporting on local governments, school districts, arts, businesses and otherwise capturing and conveying the narrative of the community. Other media outlets may fill part of the gap. Yet there’s little doubt residents will be less informed, something that hardly bodes well for the task of governance.

So a Youngstown and surroundings long familiar with hard blows, including the recent shutdown of the Lordstown auto plant, faces another. Mark Brown, the Vindicator general manager and part of the family that has owned the paper since 1887, has explained that the decision was not made easily. The family has tried to sustain things, even resisting steps other papers have taken to improve an eroding financial position. The paper has lost money 20 of the past 22 years.

In a way, it follows that the Vindicator will end its run this year, which has been one of the toughest for newspapers since the Great Recession. One count puts the layoffs and buyouts in the industry nationwide at 3,000 from January to May. That’s on top of newsroom staffs shrinking 45 percent from 2008 to 2017. As analysts have warned, the Vindicator likely won’t be the last of its kind to close.

What to do in response? The answer starts with identifying a large contributor to the problem. It is well known what has happened to the business model for newspapers. Big disruption has visited, most notably in the form of Facebook and Google. The tech giants have proved the winners as readers increasingly go digital, consuming news and information from smartphones and tablets, through feeds and searches.

Readers have made the move in massive numbers. For newspapers, the trouble goes far beyond fewer subscribers to the print version. All those readers using Google and Facebook as their route to news means advertisers — and their dollars — eagerly follow. Consider that Facebook and Google account for three-quarters of all digital advertising, and nearly 85 percent of new advertising.

That includes money newspapers once used to employ reporters, editors and photographers.

True, too, is that the content readers consume isn’t produced by Facebook and Google. The companies rely, in many ways, on local newspapers for reports and commentary. Newspapers benefit from the digital traffic to their own websites. Yet that trickle of revenue hardly reflects their contribution. What newspapers want is the ad revenue split more fairly.

Unfortunately, that is hard to obtain in view of Facebook and Google dominating the market as they do. Which explains why many newspapers, including this one, support the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, legislation before Congress that would give newspapers a four-year exemption from federal antitrust laws. That would allow a temporary “safe harbor” to test their collective clout in negotiations with Facebook and Google.

Newspapers come reluctantly to lawmakers. Yet the might of Facebook and Google distorts the workings of the market, diminishing the true value of the content local newspapers produce. For a moment, imagine the tech giants without the content. The thought adds perspective to what it is like when a city loses its newspaper.