Negotiating for democracy

Posted 3/26/24

The $20 million refundable tax credit for the hiring of new journalists is tucked into the New York State Senate’s one-house budget for the purpose of “spurring economic growth and …

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Negotiating for democracy


The $20 million refundable tax credit for the hiring of new journalists is tucked into the New York State Senate’s one-house budget for the purpose of “spurring economic growth and growing New York small businesses.” It’s a refundable tax credit that will give independently owned media a 50 percent refund on creating new jobs for journalists. It is capped at $20 million annually. 

Whether it is included in the New York State budget will depend on negotiations between the governor, and Senate and Assembly leaders. Inclusion of bill S.625C/A.2958C in the budget will be an economic game changer for local news organizations. 

It’s a hopeful sign that this bill to support local journalism got into the budget in the first place. Bills such as these have died in committee, both on the state and federal level, for some time. Now we have the opportunity to move it over the finish line.

For this, we need your support. We need you, our readers, to let your senate and assembly members know that local news is important to you and that you support the inclusion of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act in the 2024/25 budget. Scan the QR code below and add your voice to others across the state advocating for inclusion.

Public support for newspapers—and the dissemination of accurate local news—is part of what could be seen as a four-legged chair. The other legs include support from the local business community through advertising and sponsorship; support from newspaper readers through subscriptions; and support through philanthropic organizations, the missions of which are furthered by an informed and engaged citizenry. 

This chair, while solidly rooted in the fabric of our communities, has been on shaky ground for some time.

According to William McKenzie, senior editorial advisor at the Bush Institute, “What we know with absolute clarity is that a reliable flow of information is crucial to the stability of democracy. What we don’t know for sure is whether local newspapers in the United States will have the financial staying power to continue providing their communities with trustworthy information.”

New York’s Local Journalism Sustainability Act will provide some much-needed support for local newsrooms, especially the one here at the River Reporter. Every community deserves a voice and the ability to tell the communities’ stories. Let your voices be heard in Albany. Write your representatives today and let them know how important it is to you and to our democracy to include Senate bill 625C and Assembly bill 2958C in the budget.

Support the New York Local Journalism Sustainability Act:

Contact Gov. Kathy Hochul at www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form or call 518/474-8390 

Contact Sen. Peter Oberbacker at oberacker@nysenate.gov or call 607/432-5524

Contact Assemblymember Aileen Gunther at gunthera@nyassembly.gov or call 845/794-5807

Click here to sign the letter letting Albany know you support local journalism!

Negotiating for democracy, laurie stuart, new york state, senate, local journalism, sustainability act,


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