Media pulse: Public wants Congress to save local and diverse media

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Public Relations

The Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) recently released national opinion survey results showing overwhelming public support for Congressional relief efforts to save diverse and local media impacted by COVID-19. The organization also issued a call to action that includes asking Congress to enact an annual tax credit of up to $200 to offset the cost of a subscription to local and multicultural media.

“The American people view reliable and readily accessible news and information as vital to their very existence. This is especially true for underserved communities who would otherwise be without a watchdog for government and corporate accountability and without awareness of the social, economic and political events controlling their lives,” said David Morgan, MMCA co-founder and president, in a news release.

MMCA plans to leverage the survey findings to bolster the bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill to provide COVID-19 related advertising revenue and other relief to avert a death blow to already struggling diverse and local media outlets. However, they assert that for the many publishers desperately trying to stay afloat while continuing to provide critically needed COVID-19 related information to their communities, this is not nearly enough.

MMCA is issuing a call to action for greater public support of local and multicultural media both through donations and by purchasing subscriptions

In addition, MMCA is asking Congress to incentivize these efforts by providing a $200 refundable tax credit to help offset the cost of a diverse or local news subscription.

“Global crises always change something forever. For newspapers, this crisis will accelerate the transition from print to digital. In digital, newspapers cannot develop sustainable businesses without at least half their revenue coming from readers via digital subscriptions. Readers must pay for digital news, the same way they pay for digital music, movies, gaming,” said Juan Senor, president of Innovation Media Consulting, in the release.

He went on to say that, “Only journalism will save journalism. Journalism worth paying for—local, relevant journalism. Factual journalism. Journalism published without fear or favor. Journalism that asks difficult questions. Journalism that holds power to account, gives a voice to the voiceless, and brings communities together in a common knowledge of their local truth and reality.”

Recognizing that there is no prescribed definition of what constitutes local or multicultural media, the MMCA is recommending that the definition includes any media outlet dedicated to covering newsworthy information that is relevant to communities within a specific geographic region or traditionally disadvantaged group.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter