Local Journalism Sustainability Act (S.2434)

On Thursday, July 22, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate to H.R. 3940, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. This is a bipartisan bill that seeks to help local newspapers sustain financial viability through a series of three tax credits.

America's Newspapers supports the passage of this legislation and calls on all members to ask their senators and Congressional representatives for their support.

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READ NEWS RELEASE from Sen. Cantwell's office
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Reprint our editorial cartoon and editorial (or adapt the editorial and make it your own with information from your local market).

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) was recently introduced in the House and has now been introduced in the Senate — and will benefit every member of this community! Unlike many issues in Washington, this legislation has bipartisan support and is focused on delivering benefits to local communities across the U.S. by sustaining local news organizations, including this newspaper.

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4 co-sponsors of S. 2434 ...
as of July 27

The date indicates when they signed on as a co-sponsor

Sponsor: Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D-WA] (introduced 07/22/2021)
Co-Sponsors:
07/22/2021 - Sen. Kelly, Mark [D-AZ]*
07/27/2021 - Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI]
07/27/2021 - Sen. Markey, Edward [D-MA]
07/22/2021 - Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]*

* original co-sponsor

Learn more about S. 2434

Local Journalism Sustainability Act (H.R. 3940)

Bipartisan legislation reintroduced in House; provides three tax credits to help newspapers sustain financial viability

On June 16, Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (H.R. 3940) for the 117th Congress, a bipartisan bill that seeks to help local newspapers sustain financial viability through a series of three tax credits.

America's Newspapers supports the passage of this legislation.

Key components of legislation

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is a bipartisan bill that provides a pathway to financial viability for local newspapers, in print or online, through a series of three tax credits. Such publications were already facing financial hardships prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which have only worsened over the last year.

Local Newspaper Subscription Credit
This credit will grow publications’ subscription bases by incentivizing Americans to subscribe to local newspapers.

  • Five-year credit of up to $250 annually.
  • Credit covers 80% of subscription costs in first year and 50% in subsequent four years. (To receive full $250 credit, a subscriber would have to spend at least $312.50 in the first year, and $500 each of the following four years.)
  • Credit can be used with non-profit publications if the publication is the non-profit’s primary activity.

Local Newspaper Journalist Compensation Credit
This credit will provide publications the ability to hire more dedicated local news journalists to improve their newsroom coverage.

  • Five-year credit of up to $25,000 in first year and up to $15,000 in subsequent four years.
  • Credit covers 50% of compensation up to $50,000 in first year, and 30% of compensation up to $50,000 in subsequent four years.
  • Journalist must meet a minimum of 100 hours of work per quarter to qualify as an eligible employee.

Local Newspaper and Local Media Advertising Credit
This credit will provide small business financial flexibility to spend on advertising in local newspapers and media.

  • Five-year credit of up to $5,000 in first year and up to $2,500 in subsequent four years.
  • Credit covers 80% of advertising costs in first year and 50% in subsequent four years. (To receive full $5,000 in first year and $2,500 in subsequent four years, a small business would have spent at least $6,250 and $5,000 respectively.)
  • To increase flexibility, small businesses may utilize this credit to advertise with local television and radio stations, in addition to local newspapers.

Definition of Local Newspaper
For the purposes of this bill, local newspaper is defined as a print or digital publication if:

  • The primary content of such publication is original content derived from primary sources and relating to news and current events.
  • Such publication primarily serves the needs of a regional or local community.
  • The publisher of such publication employs at least one local news journalist who resides in such regional or local community.
  • The publisher of such publication employs not greater than 750 employees.

Definition of Local News Journalist
For the purposes of this bill, local news journalist is defined as an individual employed by a local newspaper who:

  • Regularly gathers, collects, photographs, records, writes, or reports news or information that concerns local events or other matters of local public interest.

Sample Letter and Downloads
Here are three things you can do to help move this effort forward

We are counting on members of America's Newspapers again this year to join forces to help ensure the success of this legislation.

Here's where your help is urgently needed:

  1. We need your effort and focus in educating our federal representatives on this matter now. As a leader of your organization, please call your local representatives (US House and Senate) and let them know of the serious challenge facing your newspaper and local journalism and that we need their leadership by co-sponsoring this bill. We are seeking 100 co-sponsors from across this country and political ideology.
  2. Educate your readers through local editorials on the tenants of this act, and why supporting local journalism and the ecosystem that serves it will only enhance the place they call home. An editorial and editorial cartoon are available for reprint from America's Newspapers at http://newspapers.org/ljsa/.   
  3. Please let me (dridings@newspapers.org) know the response you get from your representatives and how America's Newspapers can assist you in this process.

Thank you, in advance, for your good work on behalf of the newspaper industry!

Supporting local means supporting local newspapers

Reprint our editorial or adapt it and make it your own with information from your local market, like the Valley News did!

Legislation has been introduced to help protect newspapers from the business tactics of Big Tech companies that often use newspapers’ content without compensation.  On June 16, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act was introduced as a bipartisan effort to recognize and protect local newspapers and the journalists who deliver valuable content. 

Contact your congressional representative and asked them to co-sponsor and support the Local Journalism Sustainability Act that ensures newspapers continue to serve their readers and advertisers.

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37 co-sponsors of H.R. 3940 ...
as of July 28

The date indicates when they signed on as a co-sponsor

Sponsor: Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-AZ] (introduced 06/16/2021)
Co-Sponsors:
07/09/2021 - Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]
07/09/2021 - Rep. O'Halleran, Tom [D-AZ-1]
07/09/2021 - Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11]
07/09/2021 - Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20]
07/22/2021 - Rep. Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA-28]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15]
07/09/2021 - Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Larson, John B. [D-CT-1]
06/28/2021 - Del. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]
07/28/2021 - Rep. Buchanan, Vern [R-FL-16]
07/22/2021 - Rep. Demings, Val Butler [D-FL-10]
07/22/2021 - Rep. Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [D-GA-4]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13]
07/28/2021 - Rep. Lynch, Stephen F. [D-MA-8]
06/28/2021 - Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Moulton, Seth [D-MA-6]
07/22/2021 - Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3]
07/28/2021 - Rep. Tenney, Claudia [R-NY-22]
07/21/2012 - Rep. Zeldin, Lee M. [R-NY-1]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Fleischmann, Charles J. "Chuck" [R-TN-3]
07/28/2021 - Rep. Weber, Randy K., Sr. [R-TX-14]
07/09/2021 - Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large]
06/28/2021 - Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Herrera Beutler, Jaime [R-WA-3]
06/28/2021 - Rep. Jayapal, Pramila [D-WA-7]
07/09/2021 - Rep. Kilmer, Derek [D-WA-6]
06/28-2021 - Rep. Larsen, Rick [D-WA-2]
06/16/2021 - Rep. Newhouse, Dan [R-WA-4]*
07/28-2021 - Rep. Schrier, Kim [D-WA-8]
07/09/2021 - Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9]
07/09/2021 - Rep. Strickland, Marilyn [D-WA-10]
06/28/2021 - Rep. McKinley, David B. [R-WV-1]

* original co-sponsor

Learn more about H.R. 3940