Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate to H.R. 3940 — the Local Journalism Sustainability Act — a bipartisan bill that seeks to help local newspapers sustain financial viability through a series of three tax credits.

Alan Fisco, president of America’s Newspapers and president of The Seattle Times Company, said: “At this critical time for many newspapers, I am very appreciative of the leadership and support of Senators Cantwell, Kelly and Wyden for introducing the Senate Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021.”

He said, “At a time where many of us are struggling to maintain newsroom employment levels, passage of this bill is urgently needed. Senator Cantwell is an expert on the role of local journalism and the vital role it plays in sustaining our democracy.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear that local reporters and newsrooms are essential to keeping the public informed and safe, but their importance spans well beyond health emergencies,” said Sen. Cantwell. “At its core, local news is about holding the powerful accountable. The strength of our democracy is based in truth and transparency, and local newsrooms are on the ground in our communities asking the critical questions, countering misinformation, and telling our stories. We have to protect these vital parts of our communities, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.” 

“America’s Newspapers and its members from Alaska to Florida are grateful to Senators Cantwell, Kelly and Wyden for introducing this legislation that will provide critical support for local news,” America’s Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings said. “We encourage Congress to pass this legislation that will provide a bridge of support for local news as it continues its transition to a more digital ecosystem.”

Both the Senate and House versions of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act offer a series of three tax credits aimed at sustaining and providing a pathway to viability for the local journalism industry in the years to come.