"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.