Aug 4, 2009

Feds want to look under journalism's hood

The new chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, hinted to The Wrap that he might favor easing anti-trust laws for big media companies, but not until he takes a detailed look at all that ails the traditional news industry.

From the Wrap:
“We are strong believers in the antitrust laws and in opposing exemptions from the antitrust laws,” Leibowitz told TheWrap, “but when you think about other values, and you think about the First Amendment, this might be one of those rare industries where you must think about ways to ensure the vibrancy of news.” ...

He said, however, that the FTC examination will be “much, much broader” than simply whether an antitrust exemption is needed. The agency will look into other reasons for the current problems.

“We are going to have economists and journalists and bloggers and people from different parts of the news media, and we are going to think through [what is occurring] and what the future will look like and whether that future -- which might be a handful of newspapers and [TV] networks that don’t have nearly as much reach as they once did and 5 million bloggers -- is a good thing for American democracy,” he said.
I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of it.

(via Romenesko)

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