Reeling in a federal boost for local journalism remains elusive


Last fall, prospects looked bright for a federal subsidy that would pay up to half the salary of local journalists. Didn’t happen. The measure had been tucked inside the massive $3.5 trillion congressional budget reconciliation bill — aka the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill. When Build Back Better stalled, help for local journalism went off the table indefinitely, too.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act may return. But for now, Steven Waldman, who heads Report for America and a coalition of advocates for the bill, conceded during a Knight Foundation media forum last month that it’s “in a coma.”

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