A U.S. House Democrat introduced a bill that would amend the tax code to make it easier for newsrooms to receive the designation of not-for-profit, essentially making it easier for newsrooms to be subsidized by taxpayers regardless of bias.
In a press release, the office of Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) “announced the introduction of the Saving Local News Act (H.R. 3126), a bill to recognize newspapers as a public good and make it easier for written news organizations to become non-profits – allowing them to focus on content instead of profit margins and reduce their tax burden. The bill is supported by the News Media Alliance, the National Newspaper Association, the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the California News Publishers Association, Free Press Action, and the Open Markets Institute.”
Surveys have shown audiences generally trust local news more than national news. DeSaulnier is quoted in the release as stating that the bill would save local news. DeSaulnier also took a shot at hedge funds buying news outlets. The text of the bill touts that it can be referred to as the “Saving Local News Act of 2019,” yet the proposed language for the bill itself does not offer any specific protection or differentiation for local vs national news.