Another yoke on our neck
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BRONX TIMES R 12 EPORTER, APR. 9-15, 2021 BTR
BY BRONX TIMES
For all the talk about “supporting
local journalism,” it appears New York
state government isn’t all that interested
in doing so.
It’s no secret that the journalism
business — the only industry protected
by the Constitution, as John F. Kennedy
once said — is under siege by a barrage
of fi nancial complications that predate
the pandemic itself. At this point, no
company can afford additional burdens
that stand in the way of producing quality,
essential journalism to keep the
Yet the state legislature seems hellbent
on throwing another yoke onto
the neck of our oxen with the Extended
Producer Liability Act.
The legislation has an aim that
doesn’t sound so bad on paper: making
product producers responsible for recycling
their products after use. But if
passed, it will have the unintended consequence
of driving another nail into
the local journalism coffi n.
The bill mandates that any company
that produces “product packaging,
plastic wrappers and bottles and
paper products” — such as brochures,
fl yers, catalogs, booklets, telephone directories
and, you guessed it, newspapers
and magazines — bears the fi nancial
burden of paying to have unused or
undistributed materials to be recycled.
For full disclosure: Our company,
Schneps Media, has more than 70 different
newspapers and magazines circulated
across New York City daily,
such as The Bronx Times, weekly and
monthly. You can imagine the kind
of devastating impact this act would
have should the legislature pass it, and
should Governor Andrew Cuomo sign
it into law.
It is utterly ridiculous that newspaper
companies are not exempt from this
law. To say nothing about the vital services
we provide, the journalism industry
already takes great pains to be ecofriendly.
As Michelle Rea, New York Press
Association president, recently pointed
out, newsprint accounts for less than
7% of all solid waste in a community.
The printing industry has committed
to using more recycled newsprint in its
products, and the materials themselves
— including non-toxic ink — are biodegradable.
Newspapers should be exempt from
the Extended Producer Liability Act.
The legislation further endangers an
already stressed industry that needs
more relief, not more restrictions, to
deliver the news and essential information
you need every day.
Long Island state Senator Todd
Kaminsky is the main sponsor of the
bill. Reach out to his offi ce by calling
518-455-3401 and let him know that this
bill is bad for New York journalism.
And please call your local state Assembly
member or state Senator and
tell them to give your local newspaper
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