By a vote of 220-213, the House approved the Build Back Better Act this morning, which includes a five-year credit for local newspapers to employ and adequately compensate journalists. In its current form, this would provide up to $25,000 in credits in year one for newsroom employees, and up to $15,000 in years two through five.
The legislation now goes to the Senate.
Nat Lea, president of America's Newspapers and president and CEO of WEHCO Media, said: "The tax credit represents a significant opportunity for news organizations to stabilize and enhance their newsroom staff and their ability to gather and distribute local news, which is vital to the proper functioning of our democracy at all levels."
Alan Fisco, immediate past president of America's Newspapers and president/CFO of The Seattle Times Company, said: "The payroll tax credit for local news journalists included in the Build Back Better Act is the first step in reversing the relentless cuts to newsroom staffs across the country. The five-year credit gives us the opportunity to not only sustain, but grow our capacity to serve our local communities. This bill is key to sustaining a vibrant free press that is the cornerstone of our democracy. There was strong bipartisan support for the LJSA in the House. My thanks to all our supporters who have worked so hard getting us to this point. Now it is on to the Senate!"
America's Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings also applauded the action taken by Congressional representatives in the House and thanked them for their support of local journalism.
"The role that local newspapers play in their communities is central to our democracy," Ridings said. "Strong newspapers, staffed by professional journalists, ensure that our citizens are kept informed and our government remains strong."
He called on senators to pass this legislation, which will help local newspapers over the next five years navigate the changes that are taking place in the industry, especially with regard to challenges newspapers are facing with Big Tech.
Ridings encouraged all members of America's Newspapers to thank their Congressional representatives for their support and to reach out to their senators to ask for support as this legislation moves to the next phase.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here