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.
Alan Fisco, president of America’s Newspapers and president of The Seattle Times Company, said: “At this critical time for many newspapers, I am very appreciative of the leadership and support of Senators Cantwell, Kelly and Wyden for introducing the Senate Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021."
He said, "At a time where many of us are struggling to maintain newsroom employment levels, passage of this bill is urgently needed. Senator Cantwell is an expert on the role of local journalism and the vital role it plays in sustaining our democracy.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear that local reporters and newsrooms are essential to keeping the public informed and safe, but their importance spans well beyond health emergencies,” said Sen. Cantwell. “At its core, local news is about holding the powerful accountable. The strength of our democracy is based in truth and transparency, and local newsrooms are on the ground in our communities asking the critical questions, countering misinformation, and telling our stories. We have to protect these vital parts of our communities, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.” — Read more from the announcement issued by Sen. Cantwell HERE
“America’s Newspapers and its members from Alaska to Florida are grateful to Senators Cantwell, Kelly and Wyden for introducing this legislation that will provide critical support for local news," America’s Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings said. "We know that Senator Cantwell is committed to helping local news and her recent work on facilitating newspapers’ participation in the PPP program was vital to its success. We encourage Congress to pass this legislation that will provide a bridge of support for local news as it continues its transition to a more digital ecosystem.”
Both the Senate and House versions of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act offer a series of three tax credits aimed at sustaining and providing a pathway to viability for the local journalism industry in the years to come.
The first credit works to incentivize annual subscriptions to local papers that primarily produce content related to local news and current events and can also be used for non-profit publications. The second credit is a five-year credit for local newspapers to employ and adequately compensate journalists. The last of the three credits is a five-year tax credit that incentivizes small
View a one-page flyer about the Senate bill HERE
View the full text of S. 2434 HERE
View a one-page flyer about the House bill HERE
Ridings called on members of America’s Newspapers to reach out to their Senators and Congressional Representatives and ask for their support for this legislation.
Ridings has written an editorial that is available to members for reprint. In addition, America’s Newspapers soon will be providing a new editorial cartoon and other materials to help newspapers share the importance of this legislation not only to newspapers, but to local businesses, individuals and communities across the United States.
Learn more at https://newspapers.org/ljsa/