Bill to help preserve community journalism introduced in the House
Jul 19, 2020 5:30 am
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act has been introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and Dan Newhouse of Washington, an effort to help preserve community journalism nationwide. With the industry already facing financial difficulties before the COVID-19 emergency, the subsequent economic consequences of the pandemic now has local journalism facing numerous challenges to remain sustainable. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act offers a series of three categories of tax credits. The first credit would incentivize annual subscriptions to local papers that primarily produce content related to local news and current events. It could also be used for non-profit publications. The second credit is a five-year refundable credit for local newspapers to employ and adequately compensate journalists. The last of the three credits is a five-year non-refundable tax credit that would induce small-to-medium-sized businesses to advertise with local newspapers, as well as local radio and television stations. If signed into law, the measure would also encourage Americans to subscribe to local publications, help those publications retain and compensate journalists, and provide businesses and publications alike with much-needed advertising dollars. The proposed legislation has already gained the support of leaders in the media and newspaper industries including the News Media Alliance, America's Newspapers and the National Newspaper Association.