Government support for local news

The short answer: no news is bad news. In communities without robust and independent local news, there is a demonstrated loss of democracy: less civic engagement, lower voter turnout, fewer people running for office, and a less accountable society, on the whole. That's become even more true as the pandemic increased the rate of financial decline of newspapers and news organizations across the United States.

In both federal and state-level government, there has been significant movement in the past two years to help mitigate the challenges local news organizations and journalists face.

Explore these bills and initiatives, which are updated as movement occurs.

National efforts to provide relief to journalists and/or local news organizations through tax credits, federal funding, etc.

State-by-state approaches to supporting local news through tax credits, research support or budgetary legislation.

Further reporting

Variety of state legislative supports for local news media act as a series of experiments

By Jessica Mahone | August 31, 2023

Directing government funds to local news is the most commonly proposed method of support proposed in state legislation, with increasing interest among state legislatures in supporting local news media.

Which states are taking legislative action to support local news?

By Kayleigh Carpenter | May 6, 2022

While Congress is considering several bills aimed at helping local news following the overall decline in news across the country, several state legislators have introduced 11 bills that would support local journalism in their states. These bills are more likely to be tailored specifically for their states.

A Q&A with UNC doctoral student Andrea Lorenz Nenque on support for local news

By Preston Fore | July 2, 2021

“I believe that (local news) is important for democracy, but not necessarily how it’s done now, or how it’s always been done. I think that I’m interested in it because this is a unique time; we have an opportunity to create something better.”

Local Journalism Sustainability Act introduced to House of Representatives

By Preston Fore | June 17, 2021

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act, a bill that aims to help preserve local journalism through tax credits to readers, publications, and small businesses, was re-introduced to the House of Representatives this week with bipartisan support.

Could Congress act to support local news? A flurry of activity creates optimism

By Andrea Lorenz Nenque | June 2, 2021

In the last year, federal Coronavirus relief included specific help for legacy publishers, and earlier in May, a new bill to study local news was filed. And new legislation in the form of tax credits could be on the way.