Defend Journalism

Defend journalists and expand noncommercial media to promote a thriving democracy. 

While this administration has maligned the press as the “enemy of the people” and political misinformation flourishes online, it has never been more important for leaders to embrace the role of a free and adversarial press.

People need accurate, independent, civic-minded news that engages local communities and opens the door for diverse groups that news outlets have misrepresented to tell their own stories. The commercial media have failed to provide local communities with the news they need, and this country spends far less than other democracies to support public media. The government should never influence news content, but it should do more to fund public-interest journalism.

Now is the moment to revive and reinvent the public-media system in the United States and make a multibillion-dollar investment in newsgathering, new technology, and new and non-traditional local outlets across the country.

Starting points:

    1. Support legislation to tax the advertising revenue of large online platforms and redirect those funds to public, independent and noncommercial journalism.

    2. Support legislation that carves out a designated path for journalism outlets to apply for 501(c)3 nonprofit status.

    3. Endorse state-level initiatives to fund local-news media, especially in regions of the country — so-called “news deserts” — where there are no traditional local-news outlets.

    4. Endorse local community-engagement efforts to promote accountability and dialogue between noncommercial media and underserved communities, including communities of color.

    5. Defend the Corporation for Public Broadcasting against congressional efforts to “zero out” its funding.