Senators introduce bill proposing commission on local news

In September, three U.S. senators introduced a bill called the Future of Local News Commission Act, citing news deserts research from UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy.

Penny Abernathy

Lauren Harris writes about the bill for the Columbia Journalism Review, detailing the alarming media statistics prompting it — Abernathy and her team found that America lost more than 2,100 local print outlets between 2004 and 2019 — while noting the encouraging sign that this is the third bill in 2020 alluding to the crisis in local news.

This most recent bill proposes the establishment of a 13-person commission to examine the current crisis and make recommendations for federal government intervention.