This campaign is powered by:
The Albany Newspaper Guild, the New York News Publishers Association, the New York Press Association,
the Communication Workers of America, the New York State AFL-CIO, The NewsGuild (National), The NewsGuild of New York, Rebuild Local News, Buffalo Newspaper Guild, Rochester Newspaper Guild, Utica Newspaper Guild, Hudson Valley Newspaper Guild and the Kingston Newspaper Guild.
New York residents’ access to local news is at risk.
New York State residents are at risk of being deprived of access to news about their communities as disruption to the business model of news publication threatens to accelerate journalism job losses.
- Newspaper newsroom staff in the United States have declined by more than half since 2004.
- More than 2,000 American newspapers have closed since 2004, including nearly half of New York State’s weekly newspapers.
Why should state government help?
Research demonstrates that a decline in local journalism leads to a decline in civic engagement, public health and safety, cost of government borrowing, a rise in extreme partisanship and mistrust, a risk to the survival of small local businesses and community organizations. A study reported by the Pew Research Center in 2020 found that Americans who mainly get their news on social media are less likely to get the facts right about the coronavirus and politics and more likely to hear some unproven claims. Research shows that the existence of a local newspaper is directly correlated with lower costs of municipal financing (2018 Hutchins Center working paper), with higher civic engagement (Journal of Politics, 2017) and a lower level of extreme partisanship (Journal of Communication, 2018).
We believe trust in news can be revitalized by replanting professional journalists in thousands of communities throughout New York State. When local residents see reporters covering the school board meetings, asking questions of city council members, and interviewing community members about their opinions on matters of public interest, we believe it will restore a sense of confidence in the interaction between the press and the community.
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act will help local newspapers (dailies and weeklies), news websites and local broadcast stations revitalize their newsrooms through tax credits that will enable publishers and station owners to hire more journalists to cover their local communities.