A name to motion to Chalkbeat readers: Ask Congress to assist native information

In May, two months into this Covid disaster, I wrote to you explaining why Chalkbeat asked Congress for half a billion dollars. Since then, the significance of the native information we have been advocating for has solely elevated, whereas the financial way forward for newsrooms like Chalkbeat stays in query. And so, together with a coalition of stories leaders and group activists, we have now continued to advocate that taxpayer {dollars} should assist the work of informing and fascinating residents.

Last week, our coalition celebrated a breakthrough. Reps. Anne Kirkpatrick (D) of Arizona and Dan Newhouse (R) of Washington co-sponsored the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. The invoice is designed to financially assist native information organizations in 3 ways: (1) a $250 tax credit score for information customers to spend on a subscription or membership to a neighborhood information publication or outlet of their alternative; (2) a payroll tax credit score for information organizations to assist cowl reporters’ salaries; and (3) a tax credit score for small- to medium-sized companies to promote in native information organizations, whether or not print, digital, or broadcast.

Here’s our ask of you, our readers: If you imagine in reporting that works for communities, just like the work we do at Chalkbeat, we ask that you just attain out to your consultant and senators to advocate for stimulus assist for native information. Specifically, we wish members of the House to assist the Kirkpatrick-Newhouse invoice, and we want senators to step up and sponsor a Senate model as a part of a broader stimulus bundle. Go to the Rebuild Local News web site for info on how one can name, write, or tweet your members of Congress.

As training journalists, we are going to by no means make suggestions about how one can form training coverage or funding. But within the space of native information, we have now an obligation to name for what is required. We wouldn’t be asking you to take motion if we didn’t imagine it was necessary — for our work, for our communities, and for democracy itself.

Thank you.


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