Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pitching a new idea to boost struggling local news outlets — ads from the federal government, CNN Business reported Friday.
Nearly three-quarters of the Senate have signed a letter to the Trump administration encouraging various agencies to "increase advertising in local newspapers and on broadcast stations in order to help ensure they are able to continue to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” the news outlet reported.
And more than half of the members of the House have signed their own letter endorsing the same idea, the news outlet reported.
Even Republican lawmakers who ridicule national news outlets are deeply worried about the newspapers and television and radio stations in their home states, CNN Business noted. Those treasured media outlets in both red and blue states have lost advertising revenue during the coronavirus outbreak.
Though there’s been several different proposals for local news lifelines, the idea gaining the most attention is the federal advertising proposal, per CNN.
"Many federal agencies maintain advertising accounts in order to provide public notices and information to Americans," the senators wrote in a letter. "For example, the Census Bureau receives funding to run advertisements regarding the 2020 Census."
The senators said federal agencies should look to share "essential information" about the pandemic "through local advertisements," which would inject some much-needed investment into media companies.
The earlier letter from House members was addressed to President Donald Trump. The letter from the U.S. Senators was addressed to Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.
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