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A Message from Senator Smith: Broadcasters Shine a Light on Democracy

Gordon Smith

By: Gordon H. Smith, President and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters

Yesterday (1/6), was a new day of infamy in the chronicle of American history. I never imagined that the United States Capitol Building, a place that I honor and cherish as the secular temple of our democracy, could be desecrated by a domestic mob. I am at once both heartsick and resolved. Resolved to do my part to restore light and meaning to the promises and blessings of American liberty and law.

But how do we do that when surrounded by chaos and catastrophe? By focusing on and giving allegiance to the fundamentals of freedom, the first of which is the First Amendment. That’s where we as broadcasters play a special part – the part that promises freedom of the press and the duty of the press, our duty, to discover the truth and to report the same. All of us in this great industry should feel some renewed resolve in the part we play in the nation’s ongoing work of promoting and preserving “a more perfect union.”

America’s broadcasters did not relent in the face of danger, and we are grateful to the dedicated journalists who risked their lives to cover this monumental story impacting our nation. However upsetting this event is, we can feel confident in our resolve as broadcasters and in the strength of our democracy. Congress resumed business last night to complete the election certification process, and work in our nation’s capital continues.

To that end, we want to share this time sensitive information the Small Business Administration has just released regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. We know that many of your stations are dependent upon these loans to keep your doors open and continue the business of informing the public.

Our website has additional information about how to access these loans. Please don’t delay in reaching out to your lenders to take advantage of these loans and continue your work shining a light on truth and justice for all to see.

Yesterday’s unprecedented events remind us of the important role broadcasters play in bringing the news from Washington, D.C., to every congressional district across the country. Members of Congress utilized broadcast outlets to speak directly to their constituents yesterday – some crouched behind desks or secure in safe rooms. If your news team spoke with your federal legislators yesterday amidst the mayhem unfolding in the Capitol, please let us know by sending an email to with the name of the legislators you interviewed.

I want to thank you again for the unparalleled service you are providing to your communities during this unprecedented time. It is our privilege to fight for broadcasters in Washington, D.C., reminding legislators of the vital role you serve in bringing emergency news and information to your audiences.

Warm regards,


The Honorable Gordon H. Smith
President and CEO
National Association of Broadcasters

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