April 8, 2020 – The NewsGuild-CWA is pleased that 19 senators are asking Senate leaders to include funding to support local journalism and media in any future stimulus package.
“This is an important step in protecting life-saving news operations from devastation and we will work to win broad, bipartisan support for such a package,” said Jon Schleuss, president of The NewsGuild.
Last week, the NewsGuild issued a similar call and outlined a specific set of proposals that would protect the reporting that communities rely on and prohibit layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts.
Under the NewsGuild’s proposal, public support for news-gathering operations would come with strings attached: Publications would be required to remain independent from partisan influence; they would be required to demonstrate financial need, and would be prohibited from using public money for executive bonuses, dividends, stock buybacks or golden parachutes.
Advocating on public policy in this way is a departure for our members and for most in the news industry. But the coronavirus pandemic highlights the crucial role that reliable reporting plays in safeguarding the nation’s health and in protecting our democracy. As businesses close due to COVID-19 restrictions, ad revenue has plummeted, threatening news outlets – including many that were already struggling to stay afloat – with extinction.
The NewsGuild is determined to prevent the demise of desperately needed reliable news.