Local news recognized by Schatz-led resolution
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) led a group of 14 senators in introducing a resolution designating April 2023 as “Preserving and Protecting Local News Month.”
The resolution recognizes local news as a public good that serves an essential function in the democracy of the United States.
“People across the country rely on local news to stay informed, fight disinformation, and strengthen their communities,” said Sen. Schatz. “As the industry continues to face newsroom closures and budget cuts, it’s critical that we support and recognize the irreplaceable public service local news provides.”
According to research, the overall employment in newspaper, television, radio, and digital newsrooms in the United States fell by 26%, or 30,000 jobs, from 2008 through 2020. More than 100 local newsrooms were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 30% of local television stations reporting budget cuts and staff reductions.
The resolution affirms the significance of local news in increasing civic engagement and strengthening democratic norms and practices, and acknowledges the valuable contributions of local journalism toward the maintenance of healthy and vibrant communities.
Schatz has led efforts in the Senate to strengthen local news, previously introducing the Future of Local News Act, legislation which would create a committee to study the state of local journalism and offer recommendations to Congress on the actions it can take to best support local news organizations.
The resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).