Skip to comments.Decline in Newspapers Renews Idea of Nonprofits
Posted on 03/02/2009 4:29:39 AM PST by deaconjim
NEW HAVEN, Conn. As sharp revenue reductions put the future of many U.S. newspapers in doubt, one idea gaining attention is the conversion of newspapers into tax-exempt nonprofits supported by large endowments.
Although viewed by many as a long shot at best, such a radical change could be a savior for the industry and its vital role in a democracy.
That's why the endowment model is drawing renewed attention as newspapers impose massive layoffs, scale back home delivery and make other drastic cuts to counter plunging advertising revenue amid a recession that has compounded struggles from the migration of readers to the Internet.
David Swensen, who managed one of the world's largest endowments as chief investment officer at Yale University, said endowments "would enhance newspapers' autonomy while shielding them from the economic forces that are now tearing them down."
"By endowing our most valued sources of news we would free them from the strictures of an obsolete business model and offer them a permanent place in society, like that of America's colleges and universities," he wrote in a recent opinion piece in The New York Times.
But first, the idea must overcome skepticism from the very newspapers that stand to benefit. Critics say endowments also could beholden newspapers to their large donors, and giving newspapers tax-exempt status could restrict them from endorsing candidates and running editorials on pending legislation.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Personally, I think many of them are operating as “non-profits” now, they just don’t have that status with the IRS.
newspapers are not vital to democracy, freedom of speech is.
I write this not as the posting police but rather to illustrate how newspapers are just so inefficient at delivering news that we already heard about yesterday. Printed newspapers are this generation's buggy whip.
My town does just fine without a town crier; I suspect your does too. That role disappeared when it no longer served a purpose. There is no role for an obsolete technology riven with an oppressive political agenda. Good bye
Will the government give us "subscription" aid so we can all afford the "right" to have a newspaper forced upon us? (Sarcasm off)
As it is, government budgets are brimming with secret and hidden "grants" to nonprofits. If you think the "media" is biased now as a private-sector entity, just wait till they have a true financial allegiance to the gubmint.
Just nationalize the NYT and rename it Pravda.
American daily newspapers no longer play a vital role in democracy. They do play a vital role in the rise of communism in America.
Since American daily newspapers are now just another arm of big government, it seems logical big government would want to financially support them.
Subsidizing daily newspapers will not solve their biggest problem:
Few want to read them.
Their biggest support base CANNOT read them due to their functional illiteracy.
I do not want newspapers to take my tax money and use it to tell me that I am wrong. If they can’t make it in the market, they have no business continuing operations.
How is management going to sell the idea to the shareholders?
“I have this great idea. It’s too hard to make a profit so let’s just quit trying. Brilliant no?”
Well guess what boys, even non-profits that loose a ton of money go out of business.
If we publicly fund them then they are by definition no longer a "free" press.
|one idea gaining attention
the endowment model is drawing renewed attention
Uh-oh, another one of those inanimate objects being operated like a hand puppet by an AP reporter. This one is "gaining attention" all by itself, as if the reporter were not responsible for focusing attention on it by writing about it.
A truly honest AP reporter would have said, "One idea that we AP reporters would like to promote is to have rich people donate lots of money to the newspapers so that they will keep funding the AP. Otherwise we here at the AP are all gonna get laid off as the newspapers tank."
Pravda was too pro-American for the Times
What a shame Obama just made non-profits pretty much obsolete by taking about deductions for donations.
If anyone is listening to any of the NPR stations, or the stations that host the BBC broadcasts in the US, they are in HEAVY, HEAVY, non-stop fund-raising cycles right now — probably because corporate givers have scaled back as part of general belt-tightening.
It occurred to me that, unlike newspapers (where the advertisers are just plain going away, for good, because there are better economic alternatives), these radio stations can literally nag people to death, and by making such a public spectacle they will eventually hook on the the teat of some new Obama-generation funding mechanism (i,e, public stimulus funding, or foundation hostile take-overs).
And therefore — if public radio can succeed, newspapers might follow. And of course they would then perfect their style to maximize this type of appeal already defined by NPR, and so we would then have ALL MEDIA in the same pose as NPR, meaning snarky, leftist-deranged, America-loathing, class hatred on display, un-apologetically, all-the-time. (Think Keith Olbermann on every station).
What a world...