Monday, April 12, 2010

They Didn't Start Out As Nonprofits

News-gathering businesses are in terrible financial shape in the U.S., and I've seen speculation that a Federal bailout may be in the works.

Some say it might take the form of NPR-izing everything - making all these news agencies into nonprofits with government funding. Like National Public Radio! Or the Public Broadcasting Service!

Why not have an American Newspaper Bureau?

But in a recent survey, news executives are not yet biting at the bait:
The survey found that 75 percent of all news executives, and 88 percent of newspaper executives, have “serious reservations” about direct government subsidies. Nearly half (46 percent) are even concerned with the idea of tax credits for news organizations, and only 19 percent support that idea despite ongoing industry woes.
My favorite quote from the story:
“If the government becomes the ‘money bags’ for journalism, journalism will become the ‘bag man’ for the government,” wrote a member of RTDNA. “This would be an assault to the First Amendment of the Constitution.”
Subsidies are a fine way to finesse
freedom of the press.

You only pay for acceptable views,
and you get less offensive news.

Nothing is actually banned
but it all turns terribly bland.

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