New York Plans to Pay Local Journalists with Taxpayer Dollars ⋆ JP


Once upon a time the US Constitution championed a “free press.” But blue state New York has included a provision in its 2024-2025 budget proposal that is aimed at helping local journalists be paid with tax credits from the government. (Daily Caller) The definition of “free” is now a thing of the past in New York State.

“Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Carrie Woerner today announced the Enacted State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024-25 Budget provides a much-needed investment in local journalism by providing $30 million in tax credits each year, over three years, to support the salaries of local journalists…

“I’m honored this funding provision made it into this year’s budget,” said Assemblymember Woerner. “It’s reported that roughly 2.5 newspapers closed each week of 2023, and this number is expected to rise year after year. By providing journalists the funding they need to continue their critical work in keeping us all informed about our local communities, we’re connecting neighborhoods and filling the information void.”

This bill will allow publishers to use the $30 million in tax credits each year over the next three years to cover half of the salaries of journalists up to $50,000 each year. The credit can apply to current staff, but also provides an additional $5,000 to companies for each new employee hired to support local papers in expanding their newsroom.”  NY Assembly

A bad idea for local journalists

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“It is hereby found and declared that New York state needs, as a matter of public policy, to provide financial support and incentives for businesses which operate as newspaper and broadcast media, to sustain a productive and effective industry.” New York Legislation

What is the NY State definition of “productive and effective industry”? Scary idea, actually.

While it is reported that around 2,500 media outlets have folded since 2005, the venues have changed drastically. People rarely read the local newspapers anymore, opting instead for checking out the news online. There are options for any media company to switch to another plan, but government money always comes with strings.

Local media outlets are generally less political than national    ones, but that could change should this plan actually become part of the final budget. If the Democrats want to know about local sports, they should go to the games.

Did news media in New York that will directly benefit from these payments disclose their conflict of interest in coverage of the budget???… The state Commissioner of Economic Development “shall solely determine the eligibility of any applicant…Will New York Democrats shoveling $90 million in subsidies to New York media make the media even more biased in their favor, or is that not even possible? Phil Kerpen on Syndicated Columnist

We’ve had ‘state media’ for a long time now, with the bias of national outlets like CNN, NPR, NBC, ABC, CBS, etc. New York Democrats now seek to make certain that “state media” continues by adding local journalists and outlets to the stew.



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