Tell Congress to protect media industry jobs in the next COVID-19 relief bill

U.S. Congress

The recently-adopted CARES Act provides $2 trillion to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The media industry is facing strong headwinds now, and we are all concerned that more and more workers might be laid off, or have their hours reduced, in the coming weeks.

These enhanced benefits come at a critical time, but they aren't enough.

In the next phase of the federal stimulus, we need to build on the momentum that helped pass the CARES Act, because we don't just need to protect unemployment benefits: we need to protect our jobs.

To: U.S. Congress
From: [Your Name]

At a time when our nation, and our world, face an unprecedented public health crisis, it is more imperative than ever that the public have access to relevant, reliable news and information.

Journalism and journalists are essential to the functioning of our democracy, and to the safety of our population—people need to know what is happening in their local communities, in national policy, in science and medicine, in the whole range of human affairs.

At the same time, the economic downturn associated with the health crisis has made it more difficult than ever for news media organizations—television and radio stations and networks, digital news and information companies, newspapers and magazines—to survive economically.

Therefore, we call upon our federal government to provide immediate, substantial financial support for news media organizations in the form of grants and affordable loans.

This financial support must include the requirement that the money be spent on news gathering and news distribution—in particular, on the payroll costs for people who are involved in news gathering and news distribution. The financial support must also include the other employee protections found in similar programs that were created in the CARES Act.