Wednesday, August 11, 2021

All state broadcaster groups back local journalism tax break

"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," John Eggerton reports for industry publication Broadcasting + Cable. "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 bill would be a "lifeline" for local newsrooms and enable them to continue providing a "critical public service" to their communities, the broadcasters wrote. It's especially needed now because ad revenue is down during the pandemic, and tech companies (mainly Google and Facebook) take a large percentage of news media sites' online advertising dollars, Eggerton reports.

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