Around New England

Candidate for Congress Touts Newspaper Ads As Act of Social Conscience

August 25, 2020

A candidate for the Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District is touring her decision to spend $10,000 on print newspaper ads

Natalia Linos, one of eight Democrats vying to replace U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton), connected the ad buy to trying to help ailing print newspapers.

Buying political ads in newspapers was once a necessary part of a campaign. Now many campaigns spend their advertising dollars on television, radio, and – increasingly – online.

Linos said she is advertising in four newspapers. Two are dailies:  The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro and the Taunton Daily Gazette. Two are weeklies:  the Newton TAB and the Needham Times.

Meanwhile, her campaign announced it is spending an additional $25,000 to keep a television ad on the air in the Providence television market (which reaches the communities in the district near the Rhode Island border) and on cable television in Boston.

Linos, who lives in Brookline Village, is a social epidemiologist and executive director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.

“Many politicians say they’re sad about the decline of local journalism and yet very few put their money where their mouth is. I have prioritized print ads as an important way to reach voters but also as an expression of my values,” Linos said in a written statement Monday, August 24. “As the leader of a center for health and human rights, I know local news outlets are crucial for the health of our democracy, including here in the Fourth District. Political candidates have a role to play in supporting them; particularly some of my competitors with over $1 million or super PACs behind them,”

Newspapers have sustained a long decline accelerated by the proliferation of the Internet.

But Linos also tied the misfortunes of newspapers to President Donald Trump.

“Declining ad revenue at local news outlets is causing painful layoffs and a decline in the breadth and depth of critical news coverage,” Linos said. “In Congress, I pledge to explore options to strengthen independent local news ecosystems and counteract the harm done by President Trump’s daily attacks on the news media,” Linos said.

The state primary is Tuesday, September 1, although early voting runs from Saturday, August 22 through Friday, August 28.

The Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District runs from communities immediately west of Boston all the way to Somerset in the south. Nine of the cities and towns border Rhode Island. The district looks a little like West Virginia, with two panhandles.

Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District, courtesy of Wikipedia


Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District cities and towns:

Middlesex County:

city of Newton and town of Hopkinton


Norfolk County:

town of Bellingham (Precincts 1, 2, 3, and 4); towns of Brookline, Needham, Wellesley, Dover, Medfield, Millis, Medway, Franklin, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Foxborough, Sharon


Worcester County:

towns of Milford and Hopedale


Bristol County:

city of Attleboro (Ward 4, Precinct C; Ward 5, Precinct C; Ward 5, Sub-Precinct B1; Ward 6, Sub-Precinct C1) and city of Fall River (Wards 6, 7, 8, and 9); city of Taunton; town of Raynham (Precincts 3 and 4 and Sub-Precincts 1A and 2A); towns of North Attleborough, Norton, Mansfield, Easton, Berkley, Dighton, Freetown, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, and Swansea