The Iowa Newspaper Association is working with its national partners to promote measures to aid local news media during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage our members to reach out to Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Enst to urge support for the measures which include:

There is no good reason to allow USPS to falter

NNA is working hard for our industry in Washington, helping Congress to understand the urgent need to help community newspapers through the uninvited business interruption caused by COVID-19.

NNA has sent out a position paper on how Congress can assist. We know that Congressional leaders are this week putting together an extension of the Payroll Protection Program loan assistance. More than 70% of small businesses have applied for these loans — the money may run out.

Congress also can help by requiring federal advertising dollars to be directed to local communities where they are most needed. And, as we hear nasty rumors that USPS may run out of money this fall, Congress ought to finally get off the mark and provide an appropriation for this critical agency. Hold them accountable, newspaper people! There is no good reason to allow USPS to falter.

Now, our industry needs your help. Please take a look at NNA’s position paper that can be found here, and get it into the hands of your entire Congressional delegation — senators and representatives. You don’t need a long cover letter. Just tell them: help! Newspapers are doing their parts in the communities. Congress must support this work.

Please use your best contacts with these offices. Reach out to the local district offices as well as those in Washington. You can find all of their information at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. If you need help, email Tonda Rush, tonda@nna.org.

Hang in there! This is the challenge of our lifetimes. Our communities need us to weather this storm. 

Stimulus Relief for News Publishers

Congress has moved forward despite an intense push without our SBA fix that would have provided affiliation waivers for local news groups.  The bill will be a clean replenishment of SBA for $475B with $100B of that towards hospitals (last we heard).  The good news is that we made headway and have assurances for consideration in the next package.  We will also now combine these efforts with a push to get funding for advertising through the federal agencies directed towards local news, which is garnering wide support.

News Media Alliance is asking that you help get signatories on two letters:

SBA Expansion (House Letter):

As you know, we’re pushing to get an SBA fix for local newsrooms to be able to receive forgivable loans to be used on payroll (and we’re still exploring an expansion of the loans to cover printing costs).  Our as is to have affiliation rules waived to allow for every newspapers under 1000 employees to have an opportunity to apply for SBA loans. This would allow thousands of newspapers who are currently serving readers quality information related to health and the communities to apply for a loan even if they are part of a larger group of papers or affiliated owners who have non-news business.  We estimate that this would cost $1.5 to 3 billion from the PPP that is currently being replenished by Congress. 

Please see the House letter below and ask your Congressman to sign on and support local journalism.  The full text of the letter is below. If you have any questions, please contact Slade Bond (slade.bond@mail.house.gov) with Representative David N. Cicilline or Matt Bisenius (matt.bisenius@mail.house.gov) with Representative F. James Sensenbrenner.

Government Advertising (Senate Letter):

Over 240 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Trump asking him to direct his cabinet secretaries to shift existing agency advertising campaigns to local newspapers and broadcasters.  Today, Senators Daines (R-MT), Manchin (D-WV), Barrasso (R-WY), Boozman (R-AR), Tillis (R-NC), Markey (D-MA), Crapo (R-ID), Ernst (R-IA) and Peters (D-MI) have signed and circulated the attached letter that encourages the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget to work with federal agencies throughout the government to increase advertising in local newspapers and broadcast stations.   These senators would like to send the letter by close-of-business on Thursday.  

 We encourage you to contact your Senators and ask them to sign the letter, with a particular focus on Senate Republicans.  If interested, Democratic offices should contact Senator Manchin’s office to sign: seth_gainer@manchin.senate.gov and Republican offices should contact Senator Daines office to sign: Joshua Sizemore (Joshua_Sizemore@daines.senate.gov). If you have any questions please contact Paul: paul@newsmediaalliance.org   

Help by contacting your representatives!