While the death of local news has not been good for our communities, having government-subsidized media is undermining an independent media. Somehow I think that’s the intent.
The help would come in the form of a payroll tax credit for companies that employ eligible local journalists. The measure would allow newspapers, digital news outlets and radio and television stations to claim a tax credit of $25,000 the first year and $15,000 the next four years for up to 1,500 journalists.
It’s a response to growing alarm that the elimination of newsroom jobs is leaving communities without access to critical information. The concern has grown since a hedge fund with a reputation of ruthless cost-cutting acquired Tribune, one of the nation’s largest newspaper chains, in May. Already, about one-fourth of the country’s newspapers have closed and half of local journalism jobs have evaporated in the past 15 years, according to research from the University of North Carolina.
That leaves about 1,800 communities with no local newspaper.