Washington, D.C. – The News Media Alliance and the National Newspaper Association (NNA) sent a letter Thursday to President Joe Biden, on behalf of their more than 3,700 combined daily and community newspaper members, encouraging the Administration to use advertising in local newspapers to help build trust and acceptance of vaccines.
On May 4, President Biden announced the Administration was releasing additional funding for coronavirus strategies, including $130 million to improve vaccine education and information, and an additional $250 million to assist state governments with outreach efforts to encourage citizens to become inoculated – particularly in states with lagging vaccination rates compared to the rest of the country.
According to the letter, signed by Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, and NNA Executive Director, Lynne Lance, “We appreciate [President Biden’s] strong leadership in addressing the public health and economic crisis presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. News publishers across the country stand ready to work with [the Biden] Administration to meet [their] goal of getting 70 percent of U.S. citizens inoculated by July 4.”
Since last year, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has been publishing quarter-page ads in numerous Kentucky newspapers. The placement have been handled by the Kentucky Press Service.
A trusted source of quality information that has been a mainstay in many local communities for decades, or in some cases, centuries, local newspapers are best positioned to counter misinformation and concerns about vaccines with positive messaging.
Chavern stated, “The Administration will need all forms of communication to reach this goal, and in this case, print newspapers are one of the most important. The reality is that many of the individuals they are trying to reach live in rural or distressed areas with little or no internet or broadband connectivity. By and large, the best way to reach these individuals is through the printed newspaper.”
Lance added, “The Administration, to date, has overlooked the reach that our member newspapers can provide, despite our offers to demonstrate our capabilities. Our members can deliver the audiences the government needs to overcome vaccine hesitancy and meet its inoculation goal. Newspapers have state advertising networks in place that can quickly and easily carry out a nationally coordinated, locally focused campaign.”
By using newspapers for their educational outreach, the Administration will build public trust and acceptance of vaccines, as well as provide much needed support for local journalism at a time when it has never been more important in our daily lives.
The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered just outside Washington, D.C., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.
The National Newspaper Association protects, promotes, and enhances the community newspapers of America. NNA actively defends community newspapers through governmental relations programs targeting the issues those newspapers face. Furthermore, NNA advocates the value of community newspapers to policy officials and advertisers through education. The association additionally assists such newspapers by offering information, solutions, and strategies in regard to the issues impacting their businesses. Information about the NNA can be found at www.nnaweb.org.