Rebuild Local News Coalition Applauds House Action on Local News
The Build Back Better Act approved by the House of Representatives includes a payroll tax credit for local news organizations to retain and hire local journalists. The Rebuild Local News Coalition, which represents more than 3,000 local newsrooms, has been leading efforts to include this and other portions of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act in this legislation.
Coalition chair, Steven Waldman, issued the following statement:
“This is a huge step forward for a strong, local press — and for the communities they serve. The collapse of local news threatens each community’s ability to address education, COVID, health care, and the other problems they care most about. Without accurate local information, we’ll have more corruption, more misinformation, more waste, and more polarization.
The payroll tax credit approved today by the House of Representatives is a simple, content-neutral, nonpartisan, First-Amendment-friendly way to save local news and make sure communities get covered.
What’s more, the version approved by the House includes important improvements in the legislation that have come about in part from ongoing conversations with local newsrooms and Senate supporters of the legislation.
We thank the strong supporters in the House of Representatives who made this happen, as well as the Republicans who have advocated for this nonpartisan approach in the past.
It is now up to the Senate. If Congress passes this tax credit, it will help communities get the trusted local news and information that they deserve and need.”
The Rebuild Local News Coalition advocates for public policies to create a stronger, more inclusive local news system. See a list of our members and their statements on the local news tax credit below:
“The role that local newspapers play in their communities is central to our democracy,” America’s Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings said. “Strong newspapers, staffed by professional journalists, ensure that our citizens are kept informed and our government remains strong.”
The News Guild
“ This legislation will support local news journalists pure and simple,” NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss wrote in a statement. “Not only will it help support the journalists currently employed, but I expect it to boost hiring across the country. In the first year, local news organizations will get a $25,000 tax credit for every full-time local journalist employed. It’ll continue at $15,000 a year in years 2-5.”
American Journalism Project
“The American Journalism Project is dedicated to building, sustaining and catalyzing local news. We are encouraged by this latest development and the House passage of the Build Back Better Act which includes a refundable payroll tax credit for local news. This is an important and critical next step that acknowledges the importance of local news and the vital service it provides to communities across the nation.”
“We join in thanking those in the House of Representatives who ensured that this provision was included in the bill, and the bipartisan coalition that has advocated for this approach, which respects First Amendment rights,” Jim Friedlich, Executive Director & CEO said. “We urge the Senate to now pass the tax credit to ensure communities here in Pennsylvania and around the country can access high-quality local journalism.”
National Newspaper Association
Institute for Nonprofit News
National Newspaper Publishers Association
Local Independent Online News
National Association of Hispanic Publications
National Federation of Community Broadcasters
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Report for America / The GroundTruth Project
Solutions Journalism Network
Local News Consortium
Rebuild Local News is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. The coalition’s chair, Steven Waldman, is president and co-founder of Report for America, also an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.
About Rebuild Local News
Rebuild Local News is a coalition of organizations advocating for locally-grounded and nonprofit community journalism. The 3,000-plus newsrooms that we represent include weekly community newspapers, citywide nonprofit websites, ethnic publications, centers for state watchdog journalism, digital-first news sites, rural papers, public radio stations, and family-owned newspapers as well as the leading organizations advancing local journalism innovation. The coalition is housed at The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring journalism from the ground up by supporting the next generation of journalists through field reporting that serves under-covered corners of the United States and the world.