On September 20th, 2019, Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Eliot Engel (NY-16) and Lee Zeldin (NY-1) came together to rally in support of hyper-local news. The Hudson Valley and communities across the country have witnessed an unprecedented collapse of hyper-local news over the last decade.
Recently, Verizon Fios announced they would no longer offer the Fios1 News channel - owned by WRNN-TV Associates - beyond mid-November, slashing access to local news for the greater New York and New Jersey media markets. 150 employees will lose their jobs.
“It’s not getting any easier for local news – take FIOS1 and RNN as a sad example. Not only are families across the Hudson Valley losing the invaluable service of hyper-local news, but we’re also losing jobs that give back to our economy. I’m proud to come together with my colleagues from New York and New Jersey in support of our journalists and to call for Verizon reconsider this disappointing decision,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18).
“A healthy, thriving democracy hinges on an informed public and a vibrant local press to keep them informed and hold government accountable to the people. I’m alarmed by the constant media consolidation, restructuring and downsizing that has resulted in lost jobs and a diminished press, especially at the hyper-local level. The loss of independent news sources undermines our democracy and does a disservice to our residents who rely on unbiased information to make critical decisions for themselves and their families. I hope Verizon reconsiders its decision to shutter Fios1 News,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
“A free press is essential to democracy and the more local news outlets we have, the better. Sadly, many smaller tv stations and newspapers have closed in recent years, leaving our constituents with fewer choices when it comes to getting news. This unfortunate trend needs to be reversed. We need to support hyper local news, like Fios1 in New York, and preserve these critical voices in our communities,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel (NY-16).
"Everyone -- our hardworking families, workers, students, elected officials -- relies on quality, impartial, local news. A free press is critically important to our democracy and local journalism in particular is truly irreplaceable. We must stand up for our local outlets and help ensure they can keep delivering the news our communities need and providing jobs that help boost our economy,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).
A 2018 poll by the Poynter Institute of Media Studies found that over 70% of Americans trusted their local print and television media outlets, whereas only about half of Americans trusted national news.