There is fresh bipartisan backing in Congress for advancing media diversity, according to a recent InsideRadio report. Resolutions have been introduced in the House and Senate that call diversity a “core tenet” of the public interest standard in the government’s media policy. The House resolution (H.Res.277) also pledges to work with media companies to develop “common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.”
The resolutions do not propose any specific steps to be taken, however. Instead, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) says her effort is “about telling every child in America that their story matters, and that our media industry has a place for them, no matter their race, gender, family name or ZIP code.” Demings introduced a similar resolution that was passed in December on a voice vote during the previous House session. The current proposed resolution has 59 cosponsors from both parties, including Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-12) and Rashida Tlaib (D-13).
A companion resolution has also been reintroduced in the Senate by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). In addition to backing media diversity efforts, the resolution also acknowledges that the survival of small, independent, and diverse media outlets that serve diverse audiences and local media markets “is essential to preserving local culture and building understanding on important community issues” that impact the daily lives of Americans.