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Ask your members of Congress to support the Local Journalism Sustainability Act

Help Needed to Recruit Co-Sponsors

Dear Arizona Newspaper Association Publishers,

Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) are planning to introduce legislation early next week that would provide a range of tax credits that would support local newspapers, small- and medium-sized businesses and local broadcasters. The legislation, called the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, would provide tax credits that will help newspapers sustain high-quality, original reporting in their local communities. 

The legislation would provide:

  • A five-year non-refundable credit of up to $250 annually to incentivize individual subscriptions to local newspapers, defined as print and online publications with 51 percent of its audience in state or single area within a radius of 200 miles. The credit can cover 80 percent of subscription costs in the first year and 50 percent of subscription costs in the subsequent four years.
  • A five-year refundable credit, up to $25,000 in the first year and $15,000 in the subsequent four years, for local newspapers to employ and adequately compensate journalists.
  • A five-year non-refundable tax credit that would incentivize small- to medium-sized businesses to advertise with local newspapers, as well as local radio and television stations.  The credit can cover up to $5,000 of advertising costs in the first year and $2,500 in the subsequent four years. 

How You Can Help

Below you will find a link to a sample email containing talking points for a phone call or email that I am asking you to make/send to your Congressional representatives. You also will find the Dear Colleague email that was sent by Reps. Kirkpatrick and Newhouse to members of the House of Representatives, as well as contact information for Congressional representatives.

This legislation is well thought out, comprehensive and provides the bridge for journalism to achieve a stable footing in a digital reality. It will help newspapers deal with the impacts of COVID-19 … and every provision of the bill sunsets.

I’m asking you to personally pick up your phone, email, and communicate with your federal lawmakers and ask them directly to support and lead on this matter. As you will note, this act drives three key stakeholders that support the ecosystem of local journalism – citizens, business owners and journalists.

We only have approximately one week to gain support of our federal representatives to become leaders/sponsors of this act, and in doing so educating all of the perils/challenges of local journalism in America today. Please do not hesitate to email or call with questions.

Thank you in advance for your efforts on this … your voice matters here as does the critical work our institutions perform.

Tim Thomas
Executive Director
Arizona Newspapers Association
t.thomas@ananews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We encourage local news publishers to call your representatives in the House of Representatives in their district offices over the next week and ask that they join as original co-sponsors of the legislation. Democrat members of Congress should contact Ben Owens (Ben.Owens@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Kirkpatrick’s office and Republican members of Congress should contact Aaron Larson (Aaron.Larson@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Newhouse’s office to co-sponsor the legislation.

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If you have any questions, please contact: 
Tim Thomas
Executive Director
Arizona Newspapers Association
(602) 326-5944 – c
t.thomas@ananews.com