U.S. Senator Ron Wyden joined nine other Senate Democrats in introducing a resolution designating April 2022 as “Local Information Preservation Month.”
Wyden says that as the son of a journalist, he’s proud to recognize local news as an important — and essential — function of democracy in America.
The sponsor of the resolution is Hawaiian Democratic Senator Brian Schatz. Groups such as the Writers Guild of America, the National Newspaper Association, Free Press Action, the National Association of Black Journalists and the United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry have endorsed it.
Last July, Wyden rolled out the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, to help newsrooms recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and support local news operations.
In a statement, Wyden’s press office said “overall employment in newspapers, television, radio and digital newsrooms in the United States fell 26%, or 30,000 jobs, between 2008 and 2020. More than 100 local newsrooms have been forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 30% of local TV stations reporting budget cuts and staff reductions The resolution affirms the importance of local news to increase civic engagement and strengthen democratic norms and practices, and recognizes the valuable contributions of local journalism to maintaining healthy and vibrant communities.
Other sponsors include U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin, (D-WI), Alex Padilla, (D-CA), Ed Markey, (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN), Sherrod Brown, (D-OH), and Bob Casey, (D-PA.)
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