Rasoul proposes tax credits to increase subscriptions to local media outlets, incentives to advertise in local newspapers
Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul released on Tuesday a plan to support local journalism in the wake of the dramatic downsizing of newsrooms across the Commonwealth.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” said Rasoul, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor. “A free press at the local level holding government accountable and rooting out corruption is essential to a strong, functional democracy. In Roanoke and so many communities, we’ve seen our newspapers of record gutted and cut down. This is a critical moment where we must commit to supporting journalism in Virginia and ensuring it can thrive and grow once again.”
In Rasoul’s home base of Roanoke, The Roanoke Times has lost over more than 25 percent of its newsroom employees since early 2020.
Rasoul’s plan includes:
- Tax credits to increase subscriptions to local outlets and incentivize advertising in local outlets
- Ensuring a substantial portion of government advertising is spent in locally owned newspapers, including Black- and brown-owned and nonprofit outlets
- Capping FOIA fees at $100
- Making government meetings public and open to press whenever possible
Read the full plan on Rasoul’s website.