Empire State Local News Coalition applauds passage of ambitious legislation aiming to protect local news in Illinois


Today, Zachary Richner, founding member of The Empire State Local News Coalition — a statewide group of more than 150 print and online local newspapers fighting for the long-term sustainability of local journalism in New York — released the following statement on the Illinois State Legislature’s passage of historic legislation in support of local journalism. 

“The Empire State Local News Coalition applauds Illinois’ leaders and local news champions like Rebuild Local News, the Illinois Journalism Task Force, and State Senator Steve Stadelman for passing a tax credit to support the employment of local journalists. We look forward to seeing Governor Pritzker sign these historic measures into law and more states follow New York's lead by supporting their local news organizations.”

This latest victory in the national effort to save local news builds on the historic precedent set by New York last month with our groundbreaking $90 million local media tax credit. Lawmakers across the country are increasingly recognizing their role in the fight to protect local news organizations, which play an indispensable role in safeguarding our democracy and strengthening social ties. As communities across the country rally for the revival of local journalism, New York and Illinois offer hope and momentum to ensure everyone has access to the quality, independent local news they deserve.

About Empire State Local News Coalition:

The Empire State Local News Coalition is a statewide alliance of hometown newspapers dedicated to ensuring the long-term sustainability of local journalism in New York. Since 2004, more than 3,000 newspapers have closed across the country, resulting in thousands of layoffs and countless communities losing essential platforms for sharing their stories. If these alarming trends continue, New Yorkers from Oswego to Stony Brook are at risk of losing their ability to have their voices heard and shape public policy. To learn more, visit SaveNYLocalNews.com.

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America's Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings commented on the Illinois legislation saying: “America’s Newspapers congratulates the State of Illinois for its support of local journalism. The legislative actions in Illinois and New York are based on the framework of the proposed federal Community News and Small Business Support Act, which would provide much needed support to local newspapers across the country. As the challenges in the newspaper industry continue to mount, a national solution to support local newsrooms is needed now.

“We call on our Congressional leaders in Washington to follow the lead of Illinois and New York and pass the federal Community News and Small Business Support Act. Democracy needs — especially in an election year — strong local newspapers and we are appreciative of the steps being taken in support of local news.” 


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