The News Media Alliance on Thursday sent a letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham, in light of his March 18 announcement that Census field operations would be temporarily suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, encouraging him to advertise for the online completion of the 2020 Census. The letter specifically encouraged the Director to employ print and digital newspaper media, which reach millions of Americans every week, in this awareness effort.
The Alliance commended Director Dillingham for taking decisive action to protect the health and safety of his employees and the American public at large. In addition, the Alliance recognizes that getting the word out about the online response option is now more important than ever, and that news publishers can play a vital role in assisting this effort.
Newspapers reach millions of readers each week and as such, the Census Bureau could reach a considerable section of the population by increasing its footprint on news publisher websites and in print newspapers.
The letter states, “We believe that dedicating more funds to these vital media channels during this time of uncertainty when the public is staying at home and consuming more information would be beneficial for the accuracy of the Census in addition to supporting local institutions that the public relies on. In addition to reallocating any potential advertising contingency funds you may have, it may also be appropriate to request more funding for Census advertising purposes from Congress as it considers measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the society.”
View the letter here.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.