(L-R) Congressman Fred Upton and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

On April 20, Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) joined Congressman Marc Veasey (D-texas), and Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) led more than 240 bipartisan lawmakers in asking the Trump Administration to direct current federal government advertising funds to local news and media outlets.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting local communities across our nation in unprecedented ways. All Americans are attempting to understand the full measure of this crisis, even as it continues to evolve on a daily basis. As in many of our nation’s most challenging times, the public turns to free and local media for life-saving information and breaking news, because local radio, television and newspapers are still the most trusted sources in times of emergency and disaster. We urge you to work with us in ensuring that local media can continue to inform communities, even as these outlets face unprecedented economic distress,” the lawmakers wrote.

“America’s radio and TV broadcasters take seriously our responsibility to report, inform, comfort, and educate our hometowns during these unprecedented times,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Unfortunately, with economic activity at a standstill, local broadcasters are struggling without the local business advertising dollars that sustain stations and help local businesses generate commerce. We thank Reps. Dingell, Flores, Veasey, and Upton and the more than 200 Members of Congress who have expressed support for ensuring the future of trusted journalism, news, and local media.”

Local media outlets are devoting around-the-clock time and resources to reporting and informing communities on every aspect of COVID-19, even as they themselves are suffering enormous losses in revenue as all the businesses they rely on for advertising are also faltering or closed. Local media has always relied on advertising as its primary source of revenue which is then reinvested back into local news and journalism.

The MAB reached out to our congressional delegation and MAB President/CEO Karole L. White said she is “proud to say that nearly every Michigan congressperson signed onto the letter.”

An email of thank you or a tweet from many of you would show our appreciation. Go here for your representative’s contact information.

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