Dear LION Publishers members:
We see the work you’re doing covering COVID-19’s effects on your communities. Your traffic has been up, even as your businesses have been stretched in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis that’s suddenly become a global local story.
The local news you produce saves lives.
That’s why LION Publishers has joined a coalition of journalism associations — the Institute for Nonprofit News, the National Newspaper Association, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Publications, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the American Journalism Project, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Chalkbeat, the Solutions Journalism Network and Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.
We’re joining this coalition to inform our elected officials that the essential work you’re doing should be reflected in and supported by the next wave of relief legislation, to help ease some of the pressure facing your small businesses.
Specifically, we want the federal government to spend significantly more in advertising on public health — and to direct a significant portion of that advertising through local media. Crucially, half of that local share should go to media employing fewer than 100 employees, including weekly newspapers, nonprofit local news sites, minority-owned newspapers, public radio stations, family owned dailies and others that are truly local.
The coalition is beginning to talk to publishers and journalists in the states of key U.S. Senators, since the next step in the legislative process stands with that body at this time. If you’re publishing in one of those states, you can expect an email from me in the coming days with suggested ways to reach out to your Senator, and sample text that you can publish in support of the effort, should you decide that step is right for your publication.
Accurate local journalism is essential to the civic health of communities — that’s always been clear. What’s more clear today is that accurate local journalism is also critical for public health. We’d like to make our voices heard on the matter, in support of the crucial work you’re all doing every day.