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    Biden Bill Would Give Local News Outlets ‘Shot in the Arm’ – Omaha, Nebraska

    Omaha, Nebraska 2021-11-20 05:00:00 –

    President Joe Biden’s $ 1.85 trillion social spending bill is the first federal government to provide targeted support in response to a decline in local news when it comes to law. It contains.

    Assistance is provided in the form of salary tax credits for companies that employ qualified local journalists. The bill will allow newspapers, digital news, radio and television stations to claim tax credits of up to $ 2,500 for journalists for the first year and $ 15,000 for the next four years.

    This is in response to the growing alertness that the community will not have access to important information due to the lack of work in the newsroom. Concerns have grown since hedge funds, renowned for their ruthless cost savings, acquired Tribune, one of the country’s largest newspaper chains, in May. In the last 15 years, about a quarter of national newspapers have already been closed and half of the work of local journalism has evaporated, according to a study by the University of North Carolina.

    As a result, there remains a community of about 1,800 without local newspapers.

    But credit, which costs $ 1.67 billion over the next five years, puts some tension on the industry. Some top Republicans in Congress have accused it of distribution. Leading journalists also admit that getting financial support from the government they cover independently can be a hassle.

    Still, given the sense of crisis facing the industry, many journalists say that risk is worth it.

    Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America, an organization that places journalists in the local newsroom, including the Associated Press, said: “Most journalists start with sound skepticism about government involvement and support for journalism, and that’s appropriate.”

    “But the only reason this is happening right now is the seriousness of the crisis,” he added.

    Government support for the media is not new, directly and indirectly. It dates back to the early days of the country where Congress subsidized postage for periodicals. More recently, a pandemic-era small business lending program has provided the press with millions of dollars.

    In a recent tweet, Republican second-ranked Rep. Steve Scallis of Louisiana called it a fraud, but the provision is upheld by more than 12 Republicans. “Don’t make a mistake, this is Biden and the Democratic Party in Congress helping reporters pay their salaries,” he tweeted.

    Ultimately, the fate of the proposal depends on how Congress advances the broader bill. The bill has only gained Democratic support and is stalled by the House and Senate departments. In particular, it is one of the few provisions already agreed by Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    The main purpose of this proposal was to rescue a small piece of paper that was hit hard by the evaporation of advertising costs at the start of the pandemic, which will help some large companies. According to AP’s analysis, Gannett, one of the largest remaining newspaper chains in the United States, could make as much as $ 127.5 million over five years if tax cuts were enacted.

    Maribel Perezwasworth, who runs the news department of Ganett, which employs more than 4,000 journalists at USA Today, and local newspapers such as The Arizona Republic and Detroit Free Press have called the credit “a good shot in their arms.” I called it. She did not specify how the money would be spent.

    AP spokesman Lauren Easton declined to comment on the tax credit.

    Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, along with Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, introduced the credit as a legislative bill last year.

    One of the proponents of the employment tax credit was Wick Communications, a community newspaper chain based in Sierra Vista, Arizona (Parliamentary District of Kirkpatrick). CEO Francis Wick said advertising sales plummeted and revenue fell by about half from 2009 as local companies reduced advertising during the pandemic. To reduce costs, the company integrated town papers into regional titles, shortened print publication dates, and fired journalists.

    According to Wick, the tax credit, which adds another $ 2 million to the company in the first year, will move the 11-state chain papers to a digital-centric model with more paying subscribers instead of focusing. Would help to. We are working hard to reduce costs.

    “We need to make sure we can do our job in the end,” Wick said.

    The proposal has key supporters of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has long supported efforts to support local journalism. But her hometown, The Baltimore Sun, was among those acquired by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, despite journalists and community members striving to turn the paper to local owners. At that time, the problem became more personal.

    One of those local supporters, former Maryland County executive Ted Venetoulis, called Pelosi after purchasing Alden and upheld the credits that were in the broader Biden package at the time of the call. I urged her to do so.

    This will be the last time Veneturis and Pelosi, D-Caliph, will speak before their death in early October, the speaker said in a newspaper obituary and her office confirmed to AP.

    This provision is a faction that pretends to manipulate local news and fake news while casting a wide net where organizations are considered legitimate local news outlets, whether or not they are chains owned by hedge funds. We have installed a guardrail to prevent money from going to our site. Non-profit, printed matter, digital, radio or television.

    “It’s not the government’s decision who gets it and who doesn’t,” said John Schleis, chairman of NewsGuild, a union that represents journalists, including AP journalists. rice field. “Are you hiring a local journalist? If so, here’s a tax credit. It’s very helpful because it targets places where you’ve lost a lot of journalists in the last decade. It’s your local area.”

    Biden Bill Would Give Local News Outlets ‘Shot in the Arm’ Source link Biden Bill Would Give Local News Outlets ‘Shot in the Arm’

    The post Biden Bill Would Give Local News Outlets ‘Shot in the Arm’ – Omaha, Nebraska appeared first on Eminetra.

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