WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced their re-introduction of a bipartisan resolution calling for increased diversity in American media. The resolution reaffirms Congress’s commitment to increasing media diversity and pledges Congress to work with media entities and diverse stakeholders to develop common-ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.
“Especially now, as we battle the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever for our communities to have access to a strong and diverse media that properly reflects and reports on the challenges that all communities are facing,” said Senator Rosen. “We must make an effort to ensure that our newsrooms, production offices, and media boardrooms are reflective of America’s diversity. I’m proud to help lead this important resolution that takes steps toward building a more diverse media landscape.”
“Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with local media outlets across the state of Florida,” said Senator Rubio. “These outlets are ingrained in our communities, offering unique and important insight. We must continue to support small, diverse media outlets that are instrumental in preserving local culture, and serve as an invaluable resource for our communities.”
BACKGROUND: The resolution reaffirms that with increasing media experience and sophistication, it is even more important to have minority participation in local media to strengthen social cohesion among different communities and build understanding on important community issues that impact residents’ daily lives.
The resolution expresses that “an informed and engaged electorate is critical to a vibrant democracy that is deeply rooted in our laws of free speech and underpins the virtues on which we established our Constitution,” and that “having independent, diverse, and local media that provide exposure to a broad range of viewpoints, along with the ability to contribute to political discourse, is central to sustaining informed engagement.”
Fifty years after the Kerner Report said that ‘‘the painful process of readjustment that is required of the American news media must begin now,” the industry continues to struggle with efforts to diversify.