How Maryland Wants to Support Its Local News Outlets

Maryland Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery) speaks at a podium. Screenshot via @joevogelmaryland on Instagram.

What’s happening?

Maryland state Del. Joe Vogel, D-Montgomery, plans to sponsor a bill that would allow medium to small businesses to receive a tax credit of up to $3,000 for advertising in local news outlets, including newspapers, television, and radio, Christine Zhu reports for Capital News Service.

What are the intended effects of the legislation?

Vogel said he expects the legislation to boost both local journalism and small businesses in the state, which are still recovering from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. The bill would allow small businesses to generate publicity and cut costs on advertising while bringing in more revenue for local news outlets.

“We have an opportunity in this window of time to support the existing local news sources,” Vogel said, “(and) allow them to continue doing the critical work that they do for our democracy.”

The bill could also encourage more entrepreneurship and development in the state by allowing businesses to save essential cash as they enter the first five critical years, Sarah Price from the Maryland Retailers Association said at the bill’s hearing.

“Anything that we can do to offset the costs of advertising with local news sources and building a strong customer base within that community could make a really big difference for entrepreneurs in Maryland,” Price said.

Anything else I should know? 

Local journalism has experienced a decline in outlets and employment over the past few decades. An average of two U.S. newspapers close per week, according to the Hill, and newsroom employment in the country has dropped by nearly a quarter since 2008, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of a 2021 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You can read more here. 

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