By paulgillin | February 26, 2024 - 6:42 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

A collective of local news entities encompassing over 100 newspapers across New York, inaugurated the Empire State Local News Coalition last week, hoping to propel a legislative agenda to secure the enduring viability of local news.

The move comes at a critical time since the U.S. has seen more than 3,000 newspapers close since 2005, leaving many communities devoid of a single new platform. New York saw a 40% reduction in its newspaper population between 2004 to 2019, along with a halving of the journalistic workforce and a 60% decline in circulation. Thirteen New York counties are now served by a single newspaper.

All this has come to a head during a consequential election year. Studies have established a clear link between the scope of local media coverage and the degree of civic participation, the group said.

Zachary Richner, a founding member of the coalition and director of Long Island-based Richner Communications, said the coalition intends to advance a bipartisan legislative package to provide a support mechanism for newspapers statewide. He called upon governmental and community stakeholders to support the endeavor.

Key initiatives include:

  • The Local Journalism Sustainability Act (S.625B/A2958C), introduced by New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, proposes tax credits for local news organizations employing journalists. It’s intended to expand employment opportunities in New York-based journalism community.
  • Unspecified incentives for small businesses to invest in local media advertising.

A 2022 study found that around 354 New York newsrooms, including 53 in New York City and 21 catering to black, indigenous and people of color would benefit from the proposed local journalism payroll tax credit.



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