ROCKFORD, Ill. – To ensure that local media is receiving the support they need, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, passed legislation which was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker that creates the Local Journalism Task Force.
“Many of the residents of the state are deprived of comprehensive local news coverage,” said Vella. “Local news coverage provides a shared sense of community and a vital check on local government. This legislation creates a task force that seeks to find out what can be done to save it.”
Vella was the House sponsor of Senate Bill 134, which creates the task force. The task force, which Vella has been appointed to serve on, will study communities underserved by local media and submit recommendations to the Governor on how to improve access to local media as well as improve the sustainability of local press business models. Vella is encouraging residents and members of the media to make their thoughts and opinions on how to improve local media heard by contacting his full-time constituent service office at 815-329-6741
“Local media is an irreplaceable part of communities across Illinois,” said Vella. “When they leave or go out of business, the areas that no longer have local media coverage suffer immensely. This task force is a good first step to ensure that we are supporting local media, and I look forward to working with members of the media, residents, and all other stakeholders to unearth every possible solution to the many challenges local media faces.”