In July 2020, policymakers from both the democratic and representative parties introduced H.S. 7640, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, to the House of Representatives. Studies show that Local Newspapers are the best way for local politicians to encourage participation from their primary target audiences. Research shows that people tend to vote for candidates that they like rather than the parties behind them when voting. Here are some reasons why the local journalism sustainability act is crucial to political involvement.
Newspapers provide a valuable way for people to research these candidates and issues that are important to them. When the presence of news shifts from Local news to national news, political polarization increases and in some cases polarization has shown to drop entirely when the focus is shifted away from national politics completely.
Local media has always been the best way to begin building a consistent, reliable relationship with your neighborhood audience. People want to stay informed about what is happening in their local community and within their city limits. But when people spend more time online, they become less engaged in local politics without a reliable source of local news.
Studies show that people find newspapers to be the most reliable source of news. When it comes to politics, Newspapers are the most credible source of information as they highlight causes and charities as well as political affiliations they might want to contribute to local and allow them to see prominent politicians in a credible light. Local journalism is especially powerful in creating a platform for non-profits, local politicians, and current events. Newspapers and authentic journalism are also the best way for audiences to stay aware of anything negative about candidates.
The proposed credits in the Local Journalism Sustainability Act will encourage Americans to subscribe to local publications, help those publications retain and compensate journalists, and provide businesses and publications alike with much-needed advertising dollars.
Politicians that want to play an active presence in their community and representing your brand consistently through local newspaper advertising and social media can be a positive way to build connections with voters.
Often local communities appreciate genuine attempts to give back and stay involved. Participation in local charities and events and keeping the public informed about where you will be next is a great way to start. Consider placing signage, sponsorship opportunities, or partnering with other local businesses for mutual representation. Newspaper articles and press releases have long served as a way to build relationships in the community, increase recognition, and create awareness.
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act offers several tax credits created to support journalism at a local level. The initiative behind the bill was created to provide tax credits to local newspapers, subscribers, and advertisers and to allow readers to have more choices when it comes to supporting their local news.
The idea behind the bill is that the credits should help to create a sustainable pathway to strengthening local journalism. The first of these credits being one that seeks to create an incentive towards boosting annual subscriptions.
This legislation provides a way for Local Newspapers to receive up to $25,000 for every qualified journalist they hire. And also allows for Newspapers to employ private contractors to obtain refundable credit when they hire qualified Journalists. The amount is then reduced to 15000 after the first year.
This bill also includes a credit of Up to $250 annually that can be used towards subscriptions for local news organizations, which can cover as much as 80 percent of the subscription costs for the first year and as much as 50 percent of the cost of subscriptions for up to four years after that. (nonrefundable)
The last of the three credits is a five-year tax credit that incentivizes small businesses to advertise with local newspapers, as well as local radio and television stations. For more information on Why is the Local Journalism Sustainability act crucial to Political involvement please see this additional post.