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Lawmakers to consider a plan to save local news

Oct 22, 2019 12:30 pm
Vivian Wang is reporting for The New York Times that as local news is dying, the state of New York is trying to find a way to save it. Two state lawmakers next week will propose a requirement that any cable company operating statewide offer a local news channel with “news, weather and public affairs programming,” according to a draft of the bill. The programming would have to be independently produced — the companies could not simply rebroadcast others’ existing news shows. If approved, the bill would be the first of its kind in the country. Although other forms of intervention to save local news have been tried elsewhere, the New York proposal would be the most aggressive attempt by government officials to sustain local news in the long term. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Democrat-led state Senate have already indicated support for the idea. Under the proposal, the Public Service Commission, New York's utilities regulator, would decide what qualified as local news. It would also determine how long and how often each channel was required to show it. There is some thought to including online-only content providers, such as Hulu or Amazon Prime, as well, in the rule. Media experts warned that such a law could effectively make the government an arbiter of news. One of the bill's co-sponsors emphasized that while the Public Service Commission would ensure a company's compliance with the local news requirement, it would not control the content of that news. Read the full story in The New York Times.
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