WASHINGTON—Congress has officially passed the latest COVID-19 relief bill, formally known as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, with the House approving the measure today, March 10.
Part of the package devotes $1 billion for a vaccine awareness campaign that will be supported by broadcast TV and radio stations, a move NAB has lauded.
“NAB applauds Congress for again prioritizing broadcasters as essential message carriers for vaccine awareness efforts,” NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said in a statement. “Local radio and television stations are the most trusted and most frequently accessed sources of local news and information and are therefore ideally suited for delivering critical vaccine information to the nation’s hardest-to-reach communities, including communities of color, rural communities and other underserved populations.”
The organization has been supporting broadcasters efforts to keep their communities informed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including with its recent Vaccine Education Toolkit. It has also been one of the biggest proponents of federal relief for local broadcasters because of their role in serving their communities, which have particularly increased over the last year.
“NAB appreciates the current work of federal agencies to leverage broadcasters’ megaphone and encourages spending across additional stations and markets to maximize audience reach,” Smith concluded.
The funds for a vaccine awareness campaign is not the only part of the latest COVID-19 relief package that impacts broadcasters. Congress also set $175 million for public broadcasters.
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