HONOLULU (KHON2) — United States Sen. Brian Schatz introduced a new resolution that would highlight the month of April as “Preserving Local News Month.”

According to officials, the “resolution recognizes local news as a public good that serves an essential function in the democracy of the United States.”

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“People across the country rely on local news to stay informed, fight disinformation and strengthen their communities. As the industry faces newsroom closures and budget cuts, it’s critical that we all support and recognize the irreplaceable public service local news provides.”

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz

Officials explained that recent research showed the overall employment in newspaper, television, radio and digital newsrooms in the United States fell by 26% or 30,000 jobs, from 2008 to 2020.

“More than 100 local newsrooms were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 30% of local television stations reporting budget cuts and staff reductions,” according to officials.

The resolution “affirms the significance of local news in increasing civic engagement and strengthening democratic norms and practices, and acknowledges the valuable contributions of local journalism towards the maintenance of healthy and vibrant communities,” added officials.

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Schatz has been known to help strengthen local news. In 2021, Schatz reintroduced the Future of Local News Act, which would be supported by a committee that would study the state of local journalism and offers recommendations to Congress on ways they can help support local news organizations.

The resolution is also supported by 10 other senators and news organizations across the nation.