WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to passage by the House of Representatives of the Build Back Better reconciliation package that includes provisions in the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, the following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:
“The Local Journalism Sustainability Act will provide meaningful incentives for local broadcast stations to hire and retain the newsgatherers who keep our communities informed, connected and engaged. Local broadcast news is consistently ranked among the most trusted sources of news and information, and this bill would allow radio and television stations to employ additional journalists to report on the events, issues and emergencies affecting our nation.
"We thank Senate Commerce Committee Chair Cantwell for serving as the lead sponsor of the legislation, and we thank Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Senate Finance Chairman Wyden, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal and their many colleagues for championing the inclusion of this important provision in the Build Back Better Act.”
On background: Introduced earlier this year by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) is currently sponsored by 16 senators, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Catherine Cortz Masto (D-NV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Edward Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA) Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The legislation would support local news production by television and radio broadcasters, as well as certain print and digital publications, by making a tax credit available for the hiring and retention of up to 1,500 local news journalists per company each year over five years.
A broadcaster would qualify by owning or operating a broadcast station and employing local news journalists who work no less than 30 hours per week engaging in activities related to developing and providing local news to the community. The local news journalist must also reside within 50 miles of the station’s local community.
More information about the Local Journalism Sustainability Act can be found here.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.