California Journalism Preservation Act

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April 25, 2024

Image: Copy of Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, first issue, by Elias Boudinot and Isaac Harris, Wikimedia Commons

California Journalism Preservation Act

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the California Journalism Preservation Act.

SEC. 2. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) A free and diverse fourth estate was critical in the founding of our democracy and continues to be the lifeblood for a functioning democracy.

(b) Every day, journalism plays an essential role in California and in local communities, and the ability of local news organizations to continue to provide the public with critical information about their communities and enabling publishers to receive fair market value for their content that is used by others will preserve and ensure the sustainability of local and diverse news outlets.

(c) Communities without newspapers lose touch with government, business, education, and neighbors. They operate without journalists working to keep them informed, uncover truth, expose corruption, and share common goals and experiences.

(d) Over the past 10 years, newspaper advertising has decreased 66 percent, and newsroom staff have declined 44 percent.

(e) Quality local journalism is key to sustaining civic society, strengthening communal ties, and providing information at a deeper level that national outlets cannot match.