Bills of interest to the media industry have been introduced in Congress.
• The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is a bipartisan bill that provides a pathway to financial viability for local newspapers, be they in print or online, through a series of three tax credits. More on the credits here. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act was introduced in the House in July 2020 by U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona) and Dan Newhouse (R-Washington). It died in the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill was reintroduced by Kirkpatrick and Newhouse on June 16.
• OnJuly 1Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) introduced the Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act in the House, which establishes reasonable ground rules for when the government can obtain confidential source information from the media and their third-party service providers, says the News Media Alliance. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
• U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has introduced legislation to “halt Big Tech’s censorship of Americans, defend free speech on the internet, and level the playing field to remove unfair protections that shield massive Silicon Valley firms from accountability,” says a press release from the senator. The Disincentivizing Internet Service Censorship of Online Users and Restrictions on Speech and Expression (DISCOURSE) Act would hold Big Tech responsible for complying with pre-existing obligations per Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and clarify ambiguous terms that allow Big Tech to engage in censorship, says the release.
• Also out of Florida, a federal judge has blocked a Florida law that would ban social media companies from barring political candidates, NPR and others reported. Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida granted a preliminary injunction after NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association sued. Those entities that represent Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies.