New York is looking to hire journalists – to the tune of $90 million in taxpayer funds

April 29 – When you talk about state run media, the latest news from the state of New York could be the dictionary definition of just that. 

Last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul presented the final state budget for the fiscal year 2025 and it included $90 million in a tax credit program for local news outlets that would incentivize hiring and retaining journalists. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “The lawmakers in Albany decided that well, we better help out the media here and we’re going to set up this fund of $90 million. You’re already paying for NPR and Public Radio, and now they want to hand over some money to help out private media and specifically radio and newspaper to help staff stuff up here. It’s ridiculous. If you can’t survive, then flip your format and get out of the business.” 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “It’s a tax credit program for media outlets to hire journalists. They’re going to get tax credits to offset those costs. First state in the country to do that.”

Ryan said, “If you think that the people that are receiving that are going to go out and do investigative journalism to find out where the money’s being tossed away and where there’s corruption. If you’re counting on that particular group of people in receipt of that money to do an investigative deep dive on the people that are handing them that money, what a joke.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “State media is what comes to mind.” 

Barkdoll said, “I’ll be curious if other states get on board with this. The angle that New York is approaching, they’re now talking about these news deserts. All of these small town papers, radio stations that have closed. Nobody’s watching the store. There’s no one at Borough Council. There’s no one at the school board. They believe, of course, that it’s a very dangerous and bad situation for society. In theory, the idea is, you want someone there covering those meetings, getting the information out to the public to hold those boards more accountable. The problem is $90 million, a tax credit for the state, that’s a lot of money and we know these programs are often very susceptible to problems. I think this program is going to be looked at very carefully, because there are other states that are kicking around similar ideas.”