Visualizing Congress’ Big Media Bailout

The vast majority of the newspapers across the United States are owned by a handful of huge media corporations, and the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) stands to further entrench their power.

The below map is a start at capturing the sheer scope and reach that just 3 single companies have on local journalism in America. Gannett, Alden Global Capital and Sinclair Broadcast Group are three of the largest media corporations in the country – notorious for buying up outlets, cutting journalist jobs and consolidating coverage.

Just three conglomerates maintain unparalleled influence across the nation. If passed, the JCPA would give even more power and control to a few companies already responsible for destroying access to local journalism.

Local News Owned by Just the Top 3 Media Companies

The JCPA is a giveaway for big media, while explicitly excluding smaller, independent papers. Nearly half of all independent news publishers do not meet the annual revenue requirements to qualify for the legislation. If small and independent publishers don’t qualify, how can the JCPA help local journalism?

Because the JCPA is intentionally a bailout for Big Media. Big papers like the Wall Street Journal or New York Times might be excluded, but Gannett and Alden Global Capital’s hundreds of papers can each apply for big tech payouts. Once the biggest corporations have these bailouts, the legislation does not require funds go to supporting local journalism or local reporter jobs. Meanwhile Big Media will continue to lay off journalists, send millions to executive salaries and stock buybacks, and line their own pockets.

Enriching massive media conglomerates at the expense of local journalism is not the way to preserve competition in the media industry. Congress must reject the JCPA.