Hirono Calls on Senate to Support Local Journalism During COVID-19 Pandemic

Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined 17 other senators to call for funding to support local journalists and media in future COVID-19 relief packages.

“Local news is in a state of crisis that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For over a decade, there has been a steady succession of local outlets closing down, reporters being laid off, production schedules cut, and resources tightened as the growth of social media and technology platforms has concentrated critical advertising revenue in the hands of a few,” the Senators wrote in an open letter to Senate leadership.

“The current public health crisis has made the already vital role of local news even more critical,” the Senators continued. “Some of the most important guidance for families and businesses during this crisis has been highly localized. Local journalism has been providing communities answers to critical questions, including information on where to get locally tested, hospital capacity, road closures, essential business hours of operation, and shelter-in-place orders. During this unprecedented public health crisis, people need to have access to their trusted local news outlets for this reliable and sometimes life-saving information.”

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