Local Journalism Sustainability Act (Federal law)
In June, Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., re-introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act for the 117th Congress, a bipartisan bill that seeks to help local newspapers sustain financial viability through tax credits. This was followed on July 22 with the Senate bill introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Dean Ridings, CEO of America’s Newspapers, explained the Act’s purpose: “The ongoing challenges at local newspapers were made worse by the pandemic. The result is even more pressure to maintain newsroom positions and the critical local news gathering that is at the heart of our democracy. As local newspapers continue their progression to a sustainable digital future, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act will provide meaningful assistance as newspapers seek to provide information in new ways to meet the needs of their audience. This act will also help the local advertisers that are critical to local communities.”
The Act’s three tax credits are as follows. The first 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 businesses to advertise with local newspapers, as well as local radio and television stations.
You can learn more about the credits and how you can help support the bill at this America’s Newspapers link: https://newspapers.org/ljsa/.