The National Association of Broadcasters is supporting a grassroots campaign encouraging Congress to aid local broadcasters who have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic via funding and paid advertisements.
The association is targeting the next round of funding in the Paycheck Protection Program, seeking to expand the PPP to cover broadcasters with more than 500 total employees. (Both chambers of Congress passed another stimulus package Thursday earmarking $500 billion in COVID-related spending, according to the AP.)
Additionally, they are asking the federal government to pay for local radio, television and newspaper advertising. Here is specific language created by NAB with ideas for the proposed ad content: “information on medical resources, status of testing sites, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health awareness, access to small business loans and other critical governmental information.”
NAB suggests that Congress allocate “an additional $5 to $10 billion for direct funding for local media advertising” as well as redirect “current U.S. government advertising campaigns (such as those promoting the Census) to local news and media outlets.”
Here’s a link to the “ask” form NAB created to help communicate with Congress about this issue. NAB shared it with local radio and TV stations, who were in turn asked to distribute it among their staff. Listeners and viewers are also encouraged to reach out to their senators and representatives.
As of Thursday evening, NAB says the effort had prompted more than 2,000 emails sent to Congress on the subject.
Thus far, NAB reports that there is bipartisan support for its requests, citing multiple letters and individual statements from members of Congress in both parties and from the Senate and the House of Representatives seeking to assist local media organizations.