Mar 25, 2009

Congress to the rescue!

The plight of the ailing, failing newspaper industry has caught the attention of Washington pols. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Attorney General Eric Holder have made noise about relaxing anti-trust provisions to help Hearst unload the San Francisco Chronicle. Now a Maryland Senator has proposed legislation that would allow endangered papers to morph into nonprofits.

From Bennett Roth at CQ Politics (which is itself up for sale):

"We’re losing our local papers and it’s tragic. We need to look at a different model to save local newspapers,” said Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin , D-Md.

Cardin introduced a bill Tuesday that would permit newspapers to operate as nonprofits, or 501(c)3 corporations, much as public broadcasting now does.

Under this arrangement, advertising and subscription revenue would be tax-exempt, and contributions to support coverage or operations could be tax-deductible.

Such a structure would require at least one significant change for most newspapers: They would not be allowed to make political endorsements, a staple of many editorial pages.

*The nonprofit-newspaper legislation could boost efforts by a Bay Area investor to takeover the Chronicle. SF Appeal

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry but it still wont help the reporters, they would add executive board members that would make huge dollars and still pay reporters peanuts.

Best thing that can happen in this industry is to let some of the horribly mismanaged papers die, and hopefully whatever replaces it will not be the corporate driven drivel we have on streets now.