11/15/2019

This Bill Is A Threat To California’s Free Press. It Must Be Changed

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 Assemblywoman 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. Some papers have said they may turn to mail, meaning a day-late newspaper and increased subscription rates for consumers.

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.

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