“Our free media – one of our most cherished Constitutional rights – is at risk of extinction,” Blanca Rubio (D- Baldwin Park) said in a news release on Aug. 10 introducing the Save Local Journalism Act.
“At a time when local information is critical for our communities and the rebuilding of our economy. AB 323 will prevent ‘news deserts’ by providing a lifeline to California’s community and ethnic media outlets.”
The Senate Labor Committee considered AB 323 this morning (Tuesday, Aug. 11) and passed it on a unanimous 5-0 vote.
“We are at a critical time in our legislative efforts — and we need everyone’s commitment and engagement to put us over the finish line,” CNPA President and CEO Chuck Champion said to start the push for passage.
“We have secured legislation that will extend the sunset on AB 5 for two additional years and provide the preference to community and ethnic media for state advertising. With only three weeks left in the legislative session, we need your help to shepherd this legislation through the process and to the governor.”
Shortly, CNPA Members will receive information to assist the association in its effort. Among the main messages to convey:
- The Legislature recognized in AB 170 (2019) that issues around newspaper carriers needed to be studied and time needed to be granted for compliance. The COVID crisis has made the financial situations even more grave, with as much as 50% of ad revenues lost.
- The Legislature also recognizes that a number of industries should be permanently exempted from the provisions of AB 5, and others may need more time to comply.
- AB 323 provides the newspaper industry time to adapt to the fiscal impacts of COVID by extending the sunset date to the AB 5 exemption for an additional two years. The bill also requires the state to utilize the network of community and ethnic news organizations to inform the public in state advertising.
CNPA’s strategic communications partners shortly will contact member publishers with the following action items:
- Instructions, updated talking points and contact information for calls to legislators based on key votes in committees and on the Floor
- New editorial with a new call to action (support of AB 323) and directions on best timing for running the editorial
- New print and digital ad campaigns for immediate use
- New social media posts for your social media platforms
“We all need to pull together to be successful in this effort,” Champion said.