Minority media should ‘get in the game’
Government advertising can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens’ views about the proper role of government, said Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow and governance project director with the Washington-based nonprofit think tank, R Street Institute.
“It is difficult to calculate the amount of funds spent by the federal government on advertising each year. The reasons for this include [that] there is no government-wide definition of what constitutes advertising and there is no central authority to which agencies are required to report advertising expenses,” Kosar said.
Still, it’s vital for minority media owners to “legitimately get in the game,” Kosar said.
“You have to apply with General Services and have that official recognition. If you’re not in the hopper, you won’t be considered,” he said.
Kosar worked for Congress from 2003 to 2014. He said another roadblock for minority newspaper owners has been their publishers’ lack of support on the Hill.
“Every couple of years a flare up would happen on Capitol Hill about advertising dollars and whether the government agencies are spending in the minority media,” he said.
“But, it’s usually the minority-owned publishers themselves who bring it up and ask why they’re not getting a share. It’s not a constituent or a member of Congress. So, if the publishers are not the ones bringing up the issue, nobody hears about it,” Kosar added.