Dean Ridings, CEO of America’s Newspapers, was quoted this week in an article in Velocitize, saying it is refreshing, but not surprising, to see bipartisan support for the news industry as the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, H.R. 7640, continues to gain additional cosponsors in Washington.
"Representatives in Congress typically have a relationship with their hometown papers, which cover their events and issues. ... There is no other organization serving that important purpose,” he says. “They understand the need to support local journalism at a time when it is incredibly challenged and that goes across party boundaries, fortunately."
"I don’t want to be so selfish to think we’re the only challenged industry since the pandemic,” Ridings says, “but it was already facing the typical forces of disruption in the process of transitioning from a print ad model to a digital ad and subscription model.”
The article, titled "Above the Fold: Democrats and Republicans unit in support of the media," also cites an open letter sent to Congress by the American Journalism Project —a venture philanthropy organization funding non-profit news organizations similar to venture capitalists funding for-profit start-ups — urging the bill’s passage. America's Newspapers also was a signer to this letter.
“We have come together because local news in America is collapsing,” the letter states. “This collapse of local news — core to a healthy and strong democracy — would be terrible under the best of times, but right now it also means that communities cannot combat Covid-19. … The problems are especially acute in rural areas and communities of color. Trustworthy and fact-based information — accurate journalism — saves lives.”
Read the full article by Sally-Ann O’Dowd, a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida