State Broadcast Associations Urge Congress To Pass VOICES Act


All fifty State Broadcasters Associations, joined by those of the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, are collectively urging US Congress to expedite the approval of the VOICES Act – pivotal legislation aimed at promoting diversity in media ownership.

They have officially requested support for H.R. 8072 and S. 4158, known as the Broadcast VOICES Act, which was introduced in April and seeks to reinstate the Diversity Tax Certificate Program at the Federal Communications Commission.

Introduced by Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), the VOICES Act is designed to encourage investments in TV and radio broadcast stations by women and people of color through tax incentives. This initiative revives the previously effective Minority Tax Certificate program, which from 1978 to 1995 significantly boosted minority ownership in broadcasting — seeing a more than 550 percent increase in TV and radio station ownership by people of color.

The letter, addressed to Speaker Johnson, and Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries, underlines the urgency of this legislative action, advocating for a media environment that truly reflects the diversity of the American populace.

the letter states, “When it comes to broadcast radio station owners, women make up around 7 percent of owners and people of color make up less than 3 percent. Broadcasters provide an invaluable resource to all communities, serving as a local and trusted source for news and information across the country. Our strength is in our ability to cover diverse community experiences and tell stories from an authentic perspective.”

“The Broadcast VOICES Act will help with building a pipeline for a new generation of broadcast station owners that is inclusive of women, people of color and other underrepresented individuals. We therefore urge Congress to act swiftly and pass H.R. 8072 and S. 4158 to make sure that all voices are accurately represented in the broadcasting industry.”

Besides every state broadcast association, the VOICES Act is supported by the NAB, the National Urban League, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council.


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