MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn and his colleagues sent a letter to President Trump urging that any federal advertising dollars, associated with new federal programs relating to COVID-19, be directed toward local media outlets.

In the letter, Rep. Hagedorn and a bipartisan group of colleagues expressed the importance of local news and information on the radio, television and newspapers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These media outlets provide “the most trusted sources in times of emergency and disaster,” he wrote.

Yet local media outlets are experiencing huge losses in advertising revenue that allows them to continue investing in providing news to the public, according to lawmakers, “without advertising revenue, local media outlets cannot survive.”

“When we face our largest challenges, one of our greatest needs is access to reliable news and information. Rep. Hagedorn’s signature shows his support for local news and information to keep our communities safe,” said Wendy Paulson, President of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association.

Lawmakers are urging federal agencies to:

  • Direct Cabinet secretaries to review any resources intended to be used for advertising campaigns and have them expedite those activities with local media outlets.
  • Direct federal agency advertising dollars for existing and new federal programs where community outreach is needed for spending with local media, including those serving minority and rural communities.
  • Incentivize a portion of stimulus funds provided to businesses for their recovery efforts toward advertisement on local media.

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