ROANOKE - On Tuesday Del. Sam Rasoul (D-11), candidate for Lieutenant Governor, announced a plan to support local journalism in Virginia. The plan was first reported by Charlottesville Tomorrow, a nonprofit public service journalism outlet.
The plan's release follows the downsizing of newsrooms in local outlets across the Commonwealth, including the Roanoke Times, which has lost over 25% of its newsroom employees since early 2020.
Rasoul’s plan includes:
Tax credits to increase subscriptions to local outlets and incentivize advertising in local outlets
Ensuring a substantial portion of government advertising is spent in locally owned newspapers, including Black- and brown-owned and nonprofit outlets
Capping FOIA fees at $100
Making government meetings public and open to press whenever possible
Read the full plan on Rasoul’s website.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. A free press at the local level holding government accountable and rooting out corruption is essential to a strong, functional democracy," said Rasoul. “In Roanoke and so many communities, we've seen our newspapers of record gutted and cut down. This is a critical moment where we must commit to supporting journalism in Virginia and ensuring it can thrive and grow once again."