As most of you have seen (or reported) in the news, the Arizona Legislature has finally adjourned, and our 2024 local media advocacy season has officially concluded.

This was our first year as the “big tent” Arizona Media Association and we are happy to report that the strategy has proven very effective, significantly amplifying our voice and capturing the attention of many at the state Capitol.

Thanks to our dedicated lobbyist John Moody, we safeguarded local media interests in 39 bills this year – and effectively saw no local media territory loss as we navigated a laundry list of difficult and complex bills.

Particularly challenging were measures concerning public records and open meetings laws, where our opposition played a crucial role in protecting our interests. For newspapers, this work included two bills related to Public Notices where John successfully halted progress or amended language on our behalf.

Leveraging our relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle, we also collaborated to amend bills HB2394 and SB1359 about political deep fakes to protect media from liability due to AI-generated impersonations. Both of these bills were signed into law.

Another significant victory was thwarting HB2038 in close partnership with law enforcement, a bill aimed at modifying two-party recording disclosure laws.

John asked us to share this message with all of you:

“The AMA achieved tremendous success this Legislative Session amidst challenges ranging from defending Arizona’s public notice and open meetings laws to tackling groundbreaking legislation on political deep fakes. This success was a team effort, and I extend my gratitude to everyone who contributed to preserving transparency, accountability, and the public’s right to information.”

What is next you ask? We are excited to share some moves that are coming soon. This Arizona Media Association plans to capitalize on our 2024 achievements in two new ways. First, we plan to organize a first-of-its-kind Arizona State Legislative Media Day early next year that will create a new opportunity for all of us to build deeper relationships with state leaders and enhance our industry protections. Second, we plan to build a more proactive approach to legislation advocacy in 2025 (instead of just playing defense), and will lean on our board of directors to help identify new ways where we can advocate for local media at the state legislature.