U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., brought back their resolution calling “for increased diversity in American media.”
Back in September 2019, Rubio and Rosen were joined by U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, R-PR, in championing the resolution.
“Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with local media outlets across the state of Florida,” Rubio said. “These outlets are ingrained in our communities, offering unique and important insight. We must continue to support small, diverse media outlets that are instrumental in preserving local culture and serve as an invaluable resource for our communities.”
“Especially now, as we battle the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever for our communities to have access to a strong and diverse media that properly reflects and reports on the challenges that all communities are facing,” Rosen said. “We must make an effort to ensure that our newsrooms, production offices, and media boardrooms are reflective of America’s diversity. I’m proud to help lead this important resolution that takes steps toward building a more diverse media landscape.”
Rubio’s office offered some of the rationales behind the resolution.
“The resolution reaffirms that with increasing media experience and sophistication, it is even more important to have minority participation in local media to strengthen social cohesion among different communities and build understanding on important community issues that impact residents’ daily lives,” Rubio’s office noted. “The resolution expresses that ‘an informed and engaged electorate is critical to a vibrant democracy that is deeply rooted in our laws of free speech and underpins the virtues on which we established our Constitution,’ and that ‘having independent, diverse, and local media that provide exposure to a broad range of viewpoints, along with the ability to contribute to political discourse, is central to sustaining informed engagement.’
“Fifty years after the Kerner Report said that ‘‘the painful process of readjustment that is required of the American news media must begin now,” the industry continues to struggle with efforts to diversify,” Rubio’s office added.
Demings was able to get her resolution through the U.S. House on a voice vote back in December. Reeling in more than 70 cosponsors, Demings nailed down the support of fellow Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Stephanie Murphy, Donna Shalala, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson.
However, the resolution did not clear the Senate as Rubio’s and Rosen’s resolution was stuck in U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for well over a year.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.