(NNPA)—Five U.S. Senators have joined the fight for accountability in the federal government’s advertising practices—or lack thereof—when it comes to minority-owned news outlets.
A letter penned by the senators demands that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the advertising habits of federal agencies.
Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii and Cory Booker, D-N.J. each signed the letter.
In the new letter sent this month to the Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, a request is made that the GAO issue a report on federal advertising contracts and subcontracts with minority-owned publications, public relations firms, advertising agencies, and media companies.
“News outlets and media companies owned or published by people of color are critical to ensuring that diverse viewpoints are presented to the American people,” the letter stated.
The letter continued: “As one of the largest advertisers in the United States, the federal government should play an active role in ensuring that minority-owned media outlets have fair opportunities to compete for and be awarded federal advertising contracts.”
Menendez said that contracting opportunities through the federal marketplace has proven to be a valuable way for firms to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA, applauded the new letter by the senators. He noted the joint effort between NNPA and the National Association of Hispanic Publications in pushing for a new federal advertising study.