A portion of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) was included in the recent Build Back Better bill that was passed in the House. The LJSA, which has bipartisan support in the House, provides needed support for local journalists across the U.S. and is now being considered in the Senate.
While there has been tremendous support for the LJSA overall, there have been some pundits who have questioned whether government support for local journalists will maintain a free press. One such claim recently came from The Wall Street Journal in an opinion piece asserting the LJSA is “a subsidy for local journalists, most of whom are left of center.” It’s important for local newspaper readers to understand this claim is not only misleading but is also incorrect. While the writers at The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times may be interested in demonstrating how right or left of center they are, most journalists at local newspapers are dedicated to the news of their community without a slant in either direction.
This editorial was made available by America's Newspapers for reprint. Portions of it were previously published in The Wall Street Journal, as a letter from the organization's CEO, Dean Ridings. America’s Newspapers bills itself as "committed to explaining, defending and advancing the vital role of newspapers in democracy and civil life" on "behalf of its approximately 1,600 newspaper and associate member companies."
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