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Broadcasters Push for Local Journalism Tax Break Bill

Say Big Tech is draining off critical ad dollars

U.S. Capitol
Photo: Pexels – Michael Judkin

Local broadcasters are urging the Senate to provide tax credits to stations that staff up their newsrooms, citing, in part, Big Tech’s “devouring” of their local ad market.

In a letter to Senate leadership, all 50 state broadcaster associations called for passage of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act.

They said the bill “would provide local newsrooms a lifeline that would enable them to sustain, and in some cases, significantly improve the critical public service these local media outlets provide their communities.”

The associations said that lifeline is needed in part because their advertising market has been disappearing, “devoured by massive online technology platforms.”

The bill, which was introduced last month by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, along with Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), would provide tax breaks for stations as well as small businesses that support local media with their ad dollars.

The goal, according to the bill’s sponsors, is to “revive and sustain trusted local media,” in which broadcast TV and radio play a central role. The credits go to support local newspapers, digital news operations, TV and radio.