Right to a Free Press

Right to a Free Press

As I travel across the district, one thing I frequently hear Montanans say is, “I don’t know who to trust any more.” Out of state, private interests are driving a wedge between neighbors in order to make a quick buck. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way news is reported and shared. Since 2005, more than 2,100 local newspapers have closed, and our country has only half of the journalists who used to cover local beats. What this means is that fewer journalists are at city council meetings and school board meetings to tell us what is happening. Journalists are no longer writing about the human interest stories that tell us about the life of the small towns and rural areas in our country. And readers no longer have a common set of facts to decide how to best serve their communities, state, and nation. Our Founders believed in the right to a free press being the foundation of our democracy, and so do I. Congress must support our local press. The Local Journalist and Sustainability Act is one way to increase the profitability of local newspapers so they can stay in local hands. This law proposes payroll tax credits for newspaper companies that hire local reporters–the credit is equal to 50% of the first year salary and 30% of wages for four more years. The law will also give a tax credit to consumers who subscribe to a local newspaper of their choice. Source: https://monicatranel.com/issues/ 7/25/2022


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