LOUISIANA, LA—In a country that has struggled to get its first big television networks, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety has found a way to get the news it needs: through radio and television.
In Louisiana, state law allows the state public safety department to order up to three television stations to operate, but only if they can be seen from a certain distance, and can afford to pay for the privilege.
This is because most stations in the state are privately owned and operate without public subsidies.
“We can do this because the people of Louisiana are so willing to pay to get information to them,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeff Landry, adding that a recent survey showed that only 12% of Louisianaans think the government should be providing a local news service.
The state’s television system, which broadcasts local news to residents across the state, was launched in 1985.
It is one of the largest in the nation.
It has a national reach and reaches more than 300 million people in over 30,000 local markets.
It broadcasts news on nearly 600 local stations, and it serves as the home for nearly 300 television stations, including CNN, MSNBC, and CBS.
It also serves as a forum for news organizations to broadcast stories and debate issues.
But in recent years, some of its news organizations have been facing complaints from constituents.
A lawsuit in May filed by a group of citizens accused the Louisiana television station of having a history of being politically biased.
In response, the station issued a statement saying it “does not and will not make any comments on the legal action.”
Landry said the law gives the public safety agency authority to order public radio stations to begin broadcasting local news, but that he has no authority to compel them to do so.
“If I want to order the station to broadcast a story on a particular subject, then I will,” he said.
“But it is not the right thing to do.
I’m not going to order that.”
In recent years the Louisiana public safety system has been under fire for how it handles complaints about bias.
In a 2015 study, nearly 80% of complaints received by the department’s inspector general were from people of color.
The state also received an unprecedented number of complaints about its handling of race-based complaints.
Critics of the department have argued that the system has a history that shows it has a bias against black and brown residents.
The watchdog group Louisiana Watchdog called the department a “system of systematic and intentional discrimination” in a report in 2015.
Landry, in his response to the complaint filed by the citizens, said the public security agency would review the complaint.
“It will be investigated and we will determine the facts, and we look forward to making a decision based on all the facts and evidence,” Landry said.
Landriez, who is also the Louisiana state auditor, said he had been involved in numerous efforts to improve the state’s news media in recent decades.
“There is no reason why there should be a distinction made between local and national news and that’s not a bad thing,” he told reporters.
“That’s a fact.”
The inspector general’s office found that the department “has not consistently provided information on local and statewide coverage and has not taken reasonable steps to ensure that local and regional coverage reflects the facts.”
The department also found that “there is no transparency or accountability in the manner in which the department handles complaints related to local and state media coverage,” according to the report.
Landrey said he has already ordered the public broadcasting of several local news stories.
“If you need local news in your town, you need to come to me,” he joked.