A Congressman from Central Illinois has signed on as co-sponsor of legislation in the U.S. House in an effort to keep local news media alive.
Congressman Rodney Davis is a co-sponsor of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, aimed at supporting local journalism through a series of tax credits he says will promote local radio and newspapers.
Davis says he is a co-sponsor of the bill because he’s a big fan of local radio and local media outlets.
“Our local journalism actually matters. Because the national media doesn’t care about events, doesn’t care about what’s happening locally in our communities. And they’ve become hyperpartisan, and we need to do what we can to incentivize local media outlets to be able to survive in our local communities and our many urban communities. And, that’s what this would do is use the tax code with three different tax credits to provide incentives for local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations to remain viable way into the future.”
Davis says there are three tax credits proposed in the bill that will encourage Americans to subscribe, tune into and advertise with local radio, television, and newspapers.
“First off there’s an advertising credit where anyone who’s advertising on local radio, local television or the local newspaper, they are going to be able to take eighty percent of their advertising costs up to five thousand dollars the first year, and up to twenty-five hundred dollars the subsequent four years as a credit on their taxes to incentivize them to invest.
The other two credits are going to help our local newspaper outlets that are hurting, to hire journalists and get a credit of up to twenty-five thousand dollars the first year, and it would be much less the subsequent four years. And, then we have a newspaper subscription tax credit as well, that will hopefully spur investment in newspaper subscriptions in our local communities, which they need to survive.”
Davis says “Local newspapers and media outlets are a vital source of information for the public, and they’ve been hit hard by changing economic conditions, which the pandemic has only made worse,”
HR 3940 has been referred to the Committee on Jurisdictions in the House Ways and Means Committee.