At [INSERT STATION NAME], are proud to serve the [INSERT MARKET NAME] community – never more so than at critical moments like the current COVID-19 crisis. We will continue to do everything in our power to bring the most accurate and up to date information that our viewers have come to expect from us.
But our ability to provide news produced here in [INSERT MARKET NAME] by people who live here and understand the unique needs of our community is threatened by an outdated regulatory structure and a general lack of attention to the challenges facing local broadcast TV by policymakers in Washington, DC.
Here are some facts you should know:
- During a time when trust in media is unfortunately waning, trust in local media is still high, reinforcing the importance of this public service to support and inform communities.
- Local broadcast TV stations invest enormous sums to build and operate news services like ours, including investments in technology, staff and services like closed captioning.
- Our business largely depends upon local advertising to pay for these investments, but in recent years Google, Facebook and other tech giants have taken an increasing share of that revenue.
- Those essentially unregulated tech companies don’t face the same regulatory constraints local broadcasters face, which makes it harder for us to compete even when the economy is strong.
- Some of these regulations, which apply only to local television stations, were written before World War II. That doesn’t make sense in today’s world. And it puts stations like ours at a disadvantage.
- The current economic crisis is hitting everyone, including us and the businesses that advertise on our station, such as local car dealerships, restaurants and retailers.
- Even before the current COVID-19 crisis, many local newspapers and TV stations already had scaled back operations, or shut down their news service entirely, making our role today that much more important.
- If Washington doesn’t change the regulatory system and start treating local broadcast TV as the essential service it is, its puts at risk your access to the local news you deserve and trust.
We are asking our viewers to join us in asking our elected leaders in Washington, DC to stand up for their communities by supporting local broadcast TV. Because this community needs and deserves its own local news service produced here in [INSERT MARKET NAME], in good times and in hard times.