Cantwell calls for nationwide support for local media hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

Remarks come on Senate floor: ‘We need the media. …and need to help them’

As Congress continues to negotiate additional legislation to support small businesses struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wa., spoke on the Senate floor Monday to urge her colleagues to make local media outlets eligible for funding through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Cantwell’s speech comes after she led a bipartisan letter over the weekend calling on Senate leadership to make local newspapers, TV and radio stations eligible for the program by fixing the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) affiliation rule. Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Boozman (R-AR) also signed the letter.

“It is so important to us to address this issue, because these are the people who are on the front line of delivering the information to us about this crisis,” Cantwell said in a news release.

“We need the media – the local, small media – to help us continue to communicate,” Cantwell continued. “After all, the basis of a democracy is about truth and transparency, and they are helping us to build a community of truth and transparency. We need to help them during this crisis.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt local media outlets around the country. In the last few months, local newspapers have lost as much as 50 percent of advertising revenue, and the National Association of Broadcasters found that some local broadcasters have reported as much as a 90 percent loss in advertising revenues. Nationwide, advertising losses for local TV and radio broadcasters are estimated to reach at least $3 billion. An estimated 33,000 U.S. news workers have been laid off, furloughed, or have had their pay reduced since the COVID-19 pandemic began.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

File Photo
LA Fitness to reopen all locations Aug. 10

Gyms will follow state guidelines

BMW X3 xDrive 30e. Courtesy photo
BMW X3 xDrive 30e | Car review

With forces like BMW pushing, it’s only a matter of time before… Continue reading

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. Courtesy photo
2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT | Car review

OK folks, buckle your seatbelts. This week’s tester is the 2020 Dodge… Continue reading

A new measure from the King County Council could increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas of King County. File photo
County measure would increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas

Staff report Legislation the King County Council passed June 23 could lead… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino is located at 37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie. Courtesy photo
Snoqualmie Casino reopens June 11 with social distancing, other safety measures

Staff report Snoqualmie Casino will reopen to the general public at 6… Continue reading

Like similar businesses across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, Bothell restaurant Hana Sushi closed due to public-health concerns. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee changes course, says diners won’t have to sign in

Restaurants may still ask customers for information that contact tracers could use to stop an outbreak.

Construction worker installs siding to a building in Snoqualmie. File photo
Inslee gives construction a green light

It was unclear when sites would re-open, but employees will have to have PPE and stay six feet apart.

Report shows severity of COVID-19 impacts on hotels nationwide

70% of employees laid off or furloughed, eight in 10 hotel rooms empty

State processes record number of applications for unemployment benefits

Employment Security Department had challenges with the volume