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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 12, 2021.
Future of Local News Act of 2021
This bill establishes the Future of Local News Committee to examine, report on, and make recommendations related to the state of local news and the ability of local news to meet the information needs of the people of the United States.
The duties of the committee include (1) examining the implications of the loss of local newspapers, digital news outlets, and broadcasting outlets; (2) assessing the impact of the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic and whether the Paycheck Protection Program has had beneficial effects on local news organizations; and (3) assessing and examining existing and potential means of supporting local news production.
The committee must recommend mechanisms that the federal government can create and implement to support the production of local news, such as the possible creation of a new national endowment for local journalism or the reform and expansion of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.