Commentary

Publishers Push Value Of Local Press To White House

The News Media Alliance and National Newspaper Association this week sent a letter to the White House to make the case that local newspapers are effective at reaching people in communities with little or no access to the internet or a broadband connection.
That's important because it underscored a key source to sustain President Joe Biden's public-health initiatives.

Biden set a goal — 70% of U.S. adults should receive at least one COVID-19 shot by July 4 as the pace of vaccinations slowed to a two-month low. To help educate the public about vaccines and support publishers, two trade groups are asking the president to advertise its efforts in local papers — a good idea.

“The administration will need all forms of communication to reach this goal, and in this case, print newspapers are one of the most important," stated David Chavern, president-CEO of the News Media Alliance.
In announcing the goal to boost inoculations, the president said his administration would expand funding for outreach efforts, including $130 million to improve vaccine education and information and $250 million to support state governments.
The newspaper groups would like to see some of those funds channeled to local papers readers trust to provide accurate information.
"Newspapers have state advertising networks in place that can quickly and easily carry out a nationally coordinated, locally focused campaign,” stated Lynne Lance, executive director of the NNA.
The plea to advertise in local papers comes as vaccine hesitancy is still pronounced, despite government efforts to educate the public about the safety of shots. The portion of U.S. adults who said they probably wouldn't get vaccinated fell to 24% in April from 32% three months earlier, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Another 16% completely refuse to get a shot.
Expanded education efforts, including ads in local papers, are necessary to help end the pandemic.

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