By David Brand
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Wednesday directing all city agencies to spend at least half of their annual print and online advertising budgets in community and ethnic media outlets, an initiative designed to ensure that vital local news remain solvent and continue to inform their communities.
De Blasio announced the executive order at City Hall before a crowd of reporters and publishers from local news outlets, including the Queens Daily Eagle.
"Community and ethnic media outlets are critical for delivering news across the city,” De Blasio said. “This executive order will help us reach more New Yorkers, ensuring that more people can benefit from all the city has to offer.”
The executive order takes effect in the 2020 fiscal year. The city currently spends nearly $2.75 million on advertising in local print and online media outlets.
De Blasio said community news and non-English language media outlets are crucial for reaching deep into the five boroughs, especially immigrant communities.
"We can’t be the fairest big city in America if only some people know how to receive city services," de Blasio said.
Negative coverage of city agencies and the de Blasio administration will not affect the city’s commitment to placing ads in local news outlets, he said.
“I think it’s safe to say that we’re pretty impervious at this point to critical stories in the media,” de Blasio said. “I expect every media outlet to have critical stories and to point out things we need to do better. I would also like to believe that every media outlet when they think we’ve done something right will also report that with equal fervor.
“It has to be based on how do we reach the many many people in this city who need the information,” he continued.