A group of 19 senators have written a letter to Senate leaders calling for funding to support local journalism and media in any future COVID-19 relief package. 

“As many communities have shut down local restaurants, entertainment venues, and other non-essential businesses in an attempt to ‘flatten the curve,’ local papers and local broadcasters have lost even more of the advertising revenue they rely on from these businesses. Communities across the country have seen the further decimation of this important industry as local publications have stopped printing and laid off staff in the last few weeks,” the letter said.

“The current public health crisis has made the already vital role of local news even more critical,” the senators wrote. 

“Any future stimulus package must contain funding to support this important industry at such a critical time. Such a provision should be tailored to benefit aid recipients who make a long-term commitment to high quality local news,” it said.

The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ed Markey (D-MA), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).