California Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler Back Local News Resolution

Bo Tefu and Joe W. Bowers Jr.| California Black Media

Last week, California U.S. Senators, Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler, both Democrats, announced their support for a resolution that recognizes the significance of local news.

In the resolution dated April 23, Padilla and Butler joined Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i) and 10 other colleagues in designating April as “Preserving and Protecting Local News Month.”

The resolution acknowledges that local news outlets are a public good essential to preserving America’s democracy.

“Millions of Americans count on the local news to help them understand what is happening in their neighborhoods and around the country. Yet local newsrooms have suffered from some of the harshest layoffs and budget cuts in recent years,” Butler said in a statement.

“It is critical that we recognize the role our local press plays in keeping people informed on the world around them,” she said.

The resolution comes at a crucial time in the media industry when employment decreased by 26% nationwide between 2008 and 2020, according to supporters of the bill. Employment in the newsroom came with great uncertainty as more than 30,000 jobs were lost in the last two decades.

Sen. Schatz said that local news helps increase civic engagement and strengthens democratic norms and practices. This resolution will help local journalists maintain healthy and vibrant communities through valuable storytelling.

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