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Maryland legislators consider bill to boost local journalism

Maureen Daly of Long Island’s North Shore Leader broke the story of George Santos’ deception months prior to the 2022 election.

But people didn’t pay attention, and Santos went on to secure victory in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. He’s since faced scrutiny from local and national outlets alike for embellishing his background.

Stories like this are what inspired newly elected state Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery) to sponsor a bill sustaining local journalism in the Maryland General Assembly.

House Bill 540 would allow small and medium-sized businesses to receive a tax credit of up to $3,000 for advertising in local news outlets such as newspapers, radio and television.

“Sustaining local journalism is essential to protecting our democracy,” Vogel told Capital News Service.

As technology advances, some businesses have shifted to relying on media giants like Facebook and Google for advertisements.

This means fewer reliable advertising dollars for smaller publications.

“That’s less employees that local newspapers can hire, less journalists covering the State House, less journalists being able to cover our city halls, and that has serious consequences for our democracy,” Vogel told Capital News Service.

Vogel described the bill as beneficial for both businesses and the media.

The legislation would enable small businesses to gain exposure and it would also generate more revenue for the local news sources as both recover from the pandemic.


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