Assemblywoman Rubio introduces ‘Save Local Journalism’ Act to protect industry from AB 5
SACRAMENTO (KUSI) – Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D- Baldwin Park) announced she has introduced legislation (Assembly Bill 323) to strengthen California’s community news organizations, protecting their ability to provide all Californians with important information about news and events in their communities. AB 323, as amended August 7, 2020, directs state departments and agencies to place marketing and outreach advertising in community and ethnic news outlets.
AB 323 also protects the journalism industry by extending the sunset date for the exemption for newspaper carriers from the ABC test to “give ethnic, mid-size, and daily newspapers two additional years to comply with AB 5.”
“Our free media – one of our most cherished Constitutional rights – is at risk of extinction,” said Assemblywoman Rubio. “At a time when local information is critical for our communities and the rebuilding of our economy. AB 323 will prevent ‘news deserts’ by providing a lifeline to California’s community and ethnic media outlets.”
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, California newspapers have experienced declines in about half their average print advertising revenue. Furthermore, over a dozen California papers have suspended operations or closed in the last 6 months alone. And many others have been forced to lay off staff.
48th District State Assemblymember Blanca Rubio discussed AB 323 with KUSI’s Logan Byrnes.