• Blumenthal, CT Dems Celebrate First-In-The-Nation Bill For "State Funded Media"

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    The Connecticut House just passed H.B. 5408, An Act Concerning The Purchase Of Print And Digital Advertising By The State, which requires each state agency of the executive branch of the state government to procure a certain amount of print or digital advertising with commercial or nonprofit news publishers whose principal place of business is in Connecticut for at least 50% of the total annual value of the agency's contracts for such advertising.

    The Commissioner of Administrative Services will establish guidelines for any contracts entered into under this section by December 1, 2024. Then by December 1, 2025, and annually thereafter, each state agency will be required to provide a summary of all print or digital advertising purchased, including the amounts spent on local media, to the Commissioner of Administrative Services.

    State Rep. Matt Blumenthal said, "research shows government corruption increases in local news deserts. It’s vital we act to ensure local journalists continue to perform their vital role."

    We'd love to see the research that shows state-funded media would actually report on any meaningful government corruption. Would that be found in the pages of Orwell's dystopian classic 1984?

    Of course, it's not difficult to imagine that a news publisher might not want to bite the hand that feeds it.

    Conner Drigotas, Managing Editor for Connecticut Inside Investigator, said, "It may also come to pass that under this payola-esq system, newspaper staff becomes more likely to take calls from, report favorably on, or develop cozy relationships with the individuals holding the purse strings. Would the Department of Children and Families (DCF) shift funding to another newspaper after reading Inside Investigator’s award-winning investigation into their failures? I can’t imagine they would be excited to fund the position of a reporter who exposed the missing girls, stolen vehicles, burglaries, physical and sexual assaults, rapes, deaths, sex trafficking, injuries, and deaths happening under their watch and sometimes by members of their staff."

    Yet that is of little consequence to the super-majority that runs the state and now funds the media.

    The comments under Blumenthal's post speak volumes.

    Whether the State Senate rubber stamps the bill remains to be seen, but it wouldn't surprise anyone watching.

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