12 APRIL 8, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Another yoke on our neck
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 aff ord additional
burdens that stand in the way
of producing quality, essential journalism
to keep the public informed.
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 aft er 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
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paper products” — such as brochures,
fl yers, catalogs, booklets, telephone
directories and, you guessed it, newspapers
and magazines — bears the
fi nancial burden of recycling unused
or undistributed materials.
For full disclosure: Our company,
Schneps Media, has more than 70 different
newspapers and magazines
circulated across New York City daily,
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 eco-friendly.
As Michelle Rea, New York Press
Association president, recently
pointed out, newsprint accounts for
less than 7 percent 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
And please call your local state Assembly
member or state senator and
tell them to give your local newspaper