New Illinois bills propose incentives to fund news organizations, repopulate newsrooms

‘The most ambitious package of local journalism policy’


The ailing local news industry in Illinois would receive compensation from Big Tech companies and benefit from state tax incentives and a new journalism scholarship program under sweeping legislation introduced in the General Assembly this month.

“It is the most ambitious package of local journalism policy that I’ve seen,” Anna Brugmann, policy director for the nonprofit Rebuild Local News, said of two bills introduced by State Sen. Steve Stadelman, a Democrat who chaired the bipartisan Illinois Local Journalism Task Force.

“Employment in newsrooms has drastically declined,” Stadelman said. “A third of the newspapers in Illinois have closed over the years. Clearly there is a crisis in local journalism.”

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