The Senate is now deciding the fate of local news

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Hundreds of papers will die if Congress doesn’t act. There are 1,800 total “news deserts” — no local newspapers — and 1,000s more have “ghost newspapers.” The number of reporters has dropped by more than half since 2000. If Congress does not include local news help in the Build Back Better Act, another 200 or more local newspapers will disappear in the next year or two.

The solution — a payroll tax credit for local reporters — involves miniscule cost but helps save democracy. The payroll tax credit would cost 0.1% of the Build Back Better bill but would have profound impacts on communities across America.

Essential to addressing vaccination rates, education, poverty, health care, climate change and other pressing issues. Communities cannot improve vaccination rates, strengthen education, etc. without trusted info.

Biggest boost to Black and Hispanic local news ever. Would provide $146 million to local BIPOC media over five years.

Without this, communities will suffer. When local news declines, communities have more corruption, more waste, lower voting and even lower bond ratings. It cripples the community’s ability to solve their own problems.

News gaps foster misinformation, division and polarization. The local news vacuums have been increasingly filled by misinformation, national cable news and fake local news sites.

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