TheVoiceOfJoyce Rebuild Local News is pushing for tax credits for local media , to keep them operating and reporting on the news. News is the 4 th estate , it maintains Democracy. Before the advent of Social Media, we got our news from reliable news sources. Congress had journalists assigned to report on Legislation and Cabinet members of every institution were covered. Wouldn’t you like to know what’s happening in the EPA, HHS, LABOR, TRANSPORTATION, FDA? The public was always informed and there was no need for conspiracy theories or misinformation, you never doubted Walter Cronkite! That was my generation. We had an active investigative news cycle in print and on the air. Let’s ask our Legislators to save local news . If we can subsidize Fossil Fuels, why not an industry that reports independently on what’s happening in our World?

The Rebuild Local News coalition is pushing for a comprehensive list of tax credits to keep afloat local newsrooms, such as a tax refund for local news digital subscribers, payroll tax credits for hiring and retaining local reporters, and a tax credit for small businesses to advertise in local news outlets.

Waldman and his coalition estimate that it would bring in $3.5bn of relief to the local news economy via “philanthropy, businesses, consumers and the government”.

Rebuild Local News’s original aim was to get sweeping legislation to protect local journalism passed at the national level, but Waldman said the new Republican-majority congress makes that an unlikely reality given the party’s hostility to the mainstream media. Instead, the organization is pivoting to focus on getting legislation passed in as many states as possible.

Waldman said it was the Covid-19 pandemic that really brought into focus the urgent need for help to America’s beleaguered local news outlets whose mass closures have created “news deserts” across the US.

“I just thought this could be the apocalyptic event that wipes out local news,” Waldman said.

According to a 2022 report from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, the US continues to lose newspapers “at a rate of two per week”, contributing to the growing crisis of “news deserts”, communities without dedicated news coverage. Research has shown new deserts lead to a less informed and engaged voter base. A 2018 study from the University of North Carolina found 1,800 local newspapers had shuttered in the US since 2004.

A major contributing factor to news deserts are the financial firms and hedge funds, like Alden Global Capital, buying up newspapers and slashing staff, and who have been widely accused of being more concerned about profits than journalistic integrity.

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