US local news outlets need tax breaks to help save democracy, says advocate

February 22, 2023

The Rebuild Local News coalition is pushing for a comprehensive list of tax credits to keep afloat local newsrooms, such as a tax refund for local news digital subscribers, payroll tax credits for hiring and retaining local reporters, and a tax credit for small businesses to advertise in local news outlets. A 2018 study from the University of North Carolina found 1,800 local newspapers had shuttered in the US since 2004. Now local news outlets in states like New York, California, Colorado and Wisconsin are now pushing for legislation to enshrine protections for their respective journalism businesses into law. It’s a tax credit for small businesses that advertise in local newspapers. And while the words of the bill, called the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, weren’t his, like any good editor, he and his team swiftly adopted it.