Act now to save local journalism

Local journalism is essential to the fabric of our communities. Through the power of journalism, we are able to hold the powerful accountable, connect our neighborhoods, and tell stories of our times. Local journalism brings people together and shows us what’s possible. Act now to help us save journalism.

Over the past 7 months, California news organizations have been providing essential information on the COVID-19 pandemic. But the industry is on the verge of collapse. AB 323, authored by Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio, will extend California newspapers’ exemption from AB 5 for two additional years to help them stabilize operations in the post-COVID environment and prioritize newspaper outlets for state agency public outreach advertisements.

See CNPA’s Letter to the Governor and the new Analysis of the Financial Crisis Facing California Local, Daily Newspapers.

Newspapers are essential businesses, informing the public about coronavirus and other news, but the COVID-19 pandemic has left the newspaper industry, already financially stretched, struggling for survival.

The vital news coverage provided by our state and local news outlets is at risk due to an economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. There has been a significant decline of advertising in newspapers, a revenue stream that many publishers rely on heavily to operate. News publishers simply cannot survive declines of as much as 70 percent of this important revenue source.

Revenue losses caused by the pandemic coupled with increased costs for newspaper carriers are wreaking havoc on the industry.

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“As Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California State Legislature work to reestablish jobs, rebuild our state economy and preserve critical business sectors, they have an unprecedented obligation and opportunity to save the daily and weekly newspapers, ethnic and community publications and online news outlets that keep our state’s residents informed and our communities strong.”

Charles Champion

CEO of CNPA

“Ensuring that our newspaper industry — _one of the pillars of our democratic system — _survives must be a top priority. As California moves forward on economic recovery plans, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature can act on three policies to help sustain community news outlets and, in turn, support business recovery.”

Jim Wunderman

President and CEO of the Bay Area Council

“The pandemic has many of us looking to our local newspapers for critical information. No surprise–throughout all of American history, newspapers have been part of the essential fabric of our lives. Newspapers are critical to helping all of us, including the state, move forward in a post-COVID world. Without newspapers, businesses lose an important tool to reach customers, sell products, and kick-start the economy.”

Lucy Dunn

President and CEO of the Orange County Business Council

“Americans often take our free media for granted, assuming it will always be there to serve us — and it has been, especially during the pandemic. Newsrooms are working around-the-clock to provide readers with the latest information on how and where the virus is spreading and what health experts are recommending to protect the public. But their economic crisis reminds us that just as any other Main Street company, newspapers must also keep the lights on and the doors open.”

Tracy Hernandez

Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Business

“If local journalism fails, our business community will have a much harder time resetting and recovering from the pandemic. While newspapers have been invaluable in informing local residents about the local spread of viral infection, health resources, school closures, and other COVID-19 updates, they will serve an equally important role in the coming months by reconnecting recovering businesses and their customers.”

Stuart Waldman

President of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA)

“At a time when uncertainty is at all-time high, the need for reliable, authoritative information is even higher. Rapidly spreading misinformation is pervasive, driven by thirst for any information, conflated with truth, and amplified through social media. That’s why accurate community journalism — rooted in facts, authenticated, and reported with localized context — is more important than ever.”

Deborah Nankivell & Mike Betts

Fresno Business Council

“when newspapers close, misinformation and apathy fill the void; there is declining citizen engagement, lower voter turnout, increased corruption and declining government performance.”

Charles Champion

CEO of CNPA

“But the old adage that “what’s taken for granted will eventually be taken away” has never been more real than it is in the days of COVID-19. The news industry’s very existence is at great risk. And as the state of California moves forward with its economic blueprint to rebuild our local and state economies, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature must acknowledge the critical role of local newspapers as partners to the business community.”

Tracy Hernandez

Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Business

“In this critical hour, it is up to us and our elected representatives to preserve local newspapers as we make our way out of crisis. It’s important to note, we are not blindly endorsing the current state of the media, but rather reminding all of us what is at stake if a free and mission-driven press disappears.”

Deborah Nankivell & Mike Betts

Fresno Business Council

“Business that are re-opening and rebuilding will depend on reliable community resources to connect with customers about job openings, services and products. Research shows print newspapers and magazines are the most-trusted advertising channels among news media consumers, more than any other source.”

PAUL GRANILLO

President and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership

“The problems in the local news business are so widespread and severe, communities across America are in danger of losing their last surviving daily newspapers. And if that happens, they’ll lose not just a crucial source of the information needed to navigate the travails of daily life, but also in many cases the only local organization working to hold government, businesses and powerful individuals accountable.”

The L.A. TIMES Editorial Board

“The dire state of the industry comes at a time when residents have come to rely on local news outlets even more. As the leading LGBT-focused publication in San Francisco — and the Bay Area — the B.A.R. has reported myriad ways the virus and COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by it, have altered daily life in the community, upended nonprofits, and shattered the economy, leaving thousands of queer employees without work.”

Bay Area Reporter Editorial Board

“Subscribe to your local newspaper! Staying well-informed is a local citizenry’s obligation and its greatest opportunity. When we want to learn about the local high school football player making it to a college team, or a local charity event to help disadvantaged children, we turn to our local papers.”

Paul Granillo

President and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership

How can you help save local journalism? Spread awareness!

Tweet Governor Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) using the hashtag #CALeg and #SaveLocalJournalism. Sample posts are shown below.

Use the form below to add your name to the list of Californians supporting efforts to save local journalism. We will be sending out regular updates on how you can help show your support.

Support local newspapers!

Add your name to the growing list of supporters of local newspapers. The form below provides an option to include your assemblymember and senator. If you do not know who your current representatives are, you can search for them using your address.