The JCPA fails to recognize the real crisis in journalism: It’s the smaller outlets with diverse or dissenting voices that are most in need of help, and this legislation largely dismisses their needs and those of the communities they serve. It doesn’t support the kinds of news innovation starting to happen in communities across the United States that had previously lacked local and responsive sources of news and information — communities that have been neglected by the same companies pushing hardest for this legislation.
The deceitful and racist content peddled by the likes of Fox News and Sinclair Broadcast Group isn’t worth subsidizing. Vulture hedge funds like Alden Global Capital won’t use their JCPA windfall to help local journalists or support the kinds of reporting that prioritize truth-telling, equity and accountability.
Instead of encouraging collusion, Congress should pursue public policies that ensure funds reach newsroom workers, not just their bosses. We need policies that support vigorous local reporting, invest in noncommercial outlets and better serve communities with the news and information they need to participate in our democracy.
We are asking that you reject the JCPA’s bailout of Big Media, and instead focus on prioritizing investing public funds into communities where it’s needed most, and to fill the gaps left by a commercial media market that too often ignores the information needs of BIPOC, rural and poor communities, who have long been misrepresented by traditional news outlets.