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Newspapers are vital
to democracy.
Don’t let the Legislature
kill them off.
California newspapers have weathered the arrival of the internet era by continuing to play
our crucial role of holding the powerful accountable. Now a bill before the state Legislature
that would have a devastating financial impact on newspapers is nearing passage – without
lawmakers grasping the harm it would do.
Here’s what the editorial pages of some California newspapers have to say about it:

If you believe newspapers play
an essential role in strengthening
democracy and holding powerful
leaders accountable, now is the
time to speak up about Assembly
Bill 5. The bill, as currently written, could force many California
newspapers out of business.
It’s unlikely that Assembly-

Our industry has been struggling, but we are making strides
to ensure our future and don’t
need setbacks that only make it
All we ask is that state lawmakers do us no harm — that, to help

If you’re reading this while holding a newspaper in your hands,
it means you are most likely a
subscriber, and your delivery
person did their job today.
Today, we’re asking for your
help to keep that alive.
As written, Assembly Bill 5 …

woman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San
Diego, sought to create an existential threat to California’s free
press when she authored AB 5.
But in what seems like an unintended consequence of the bill,
AB 5 would basically make daily
delivery of the print version of the
newspaper nearly impossible. …

ensure the survival of local journalism, they let us continue operating under the same rules that
have governed us for more than
40 years. …
The carrier system has worked
for decades delivering [the] morn-

would have a devastating economic
impact on countless California residents and businesses. It would be
especially harmful for many (if not
most) of our state’s newspapers,
especially in smaller communities that rely so heavily on local
journalism for their news. …

That’s because the bill would
require newspapers to treat newspaper carriers as employees rather
than independent contractors. This
would disrupt and destabilize the
newspaper industry at a time when
accurate, credible news is most
needed – and most threatened.

ing paper.
It makes little sense to undermine it now. And it would make
even less sense to undermine it
when lawmakers have the option
to leave the status quo with regards
to carriers in place.

We all know independent
contract workers and we don’t
disagree that many are deserving
of employee status. But this bill
goes too far, taking that decision
out of the hands of thousands of
contractors who enjoy the freedom
offered by non-employee status.

The California News Publishers Association is deeply concerned that the Legislature will adjourn
without helping newspapers and carriers and the communities they serve. That would be a major
blow to an industry already facing declining revenues. The failure of the Legislature to act would
be a tipping point in the history of California newspapers and the public’s right to know.
If Assembly Bill 5 is passed by the Legislature without an exemption for newspaper carriers,
California newspapers will face an expensive new obstacle to their survival. If you want to help
newspapers continue to perform their crucial watchdog role, please call your state senator and
urge him or her to make sure that an exemption for newspaper carriers is included in AB 5 before
it comes up for a vote on the Senate floor.



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