April 29, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Resolution Recognizing the Importance of Local News

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden joined colleagues this week in introducing a resolution to support the designation of April 2022 as “Preserving Local News Month.” The resolution recognizes local news as a public good that serves an essential function in the democracy of the United States.

“As the son of a journalist, I am proud to introduce legislation recognizing the importance of local news in our democracy,” said Wyden, who also has introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. “I will keep fighting tooth-and-nail to help Oregon newsrooms recover from the pandemic and preserve the public service local news provides to our communities.”

According to recent research, the overall employment in newspaper, television, radio, and digital newsrooms in the United States fell by 26 percent, or 30,000 jobs, from 2008-2020. More than 100 local newsrooms were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 30 percent 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 towards the maintenance of healthy and vibrant communities.

The resolution is endorsed by the Alliance for Community Media, California Black Media, Common Cause, Free Press Action, National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), Online News Association, PEN America, Public Knowledge, Society of Professional Journalists, Theatre Communications Group, Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry, National Newspaper Association, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, The NewsGuild – Communications Workers of America (TNG-CWA), and National Writers Union.

The resolution is led by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. Alongside Wyden, the resolution is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Bob Casey, D-Pa.