WASHINGTON—As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its fifth month, there is wide-ranging support for broadcasters to have greater access to loans that will help them continue to provide the key services to their communities so that they can stay informed.
In a new blog post, NAB Senior Vice President of Communications Ann Marie Cumming shared that numerous organizations have come out in favor of the Local News and Emergency Information Act that has been introduced to Congress and, according to Cumming, has bipartisan support.
The bill would expand eligibility for forgivable Payroll Protection Program loans for media outlets based on a local, per station or newsroom basis. In previous bills that aimed to provide relief to broadcasters during the pandemic, there has been debate as to whether stations owned by large corporations should be eligible for such loans.
Among those offering their support to this new bill are the AFL-CIO, FreedomWorks, National Hispanic Media Coalition, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Rural Agricultural Council of America, the National Urban League, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, NewsGuild-CWA and Native Public Media.
“Local TV and radio stations play an important role in providing communities with news and emergency information,” said Native Public Media. “It is crucial that Congress include broadcasters in the next coronavirus relief package. NPM stands in solidarity with local broadcasters.”
“Broadcasters look forward to working with Congress to ensure that this legislative language is included in coronavirus economic relief efforts to help preserve local media and journalism,” Cumming concluded in her post.
The complete post is available on the NAB’s blog.
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