Skip to comments.Nonprofit Mother Jones role model for industry
Posted on 03/24/2009 5:44:08 PM PDT by sinanju
Thirty-three years after Mother Jones began as a nonprofit magazine, co-editor Monika Bauerlein jokes that "we're so out of date, we're hip."
She was referring to renewed interest in the San Francisco magazine's business model. As major daily newspapers, like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, cease publication and others, like The Chronicle, plan extensive layoffs to cope with dwindling revenue, many in the news publishing world are exploring the nonprofit model.
But switching from a profit to nonprofit model isn't easy - at least on the mass-market scale of many publications. Two Yale scholars recently estimated that it would take a $5 billion endowment to maintain the estimated $200 million annual newsroom budget for the New York Times.
Starting a nonprofit publication brings its own challenges. While new online ventures like MinnPost.com - which covers Minnesota politics and government - have received positive reviews and industry buzz, the journalists running the $1.2 million operation say it is still very much an experiment.
This groping in the dark for solutions to journalism's funding problems reached a new peak last week when Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois professor and a political blogger, suggested in the Nation that the government offer a $200 yearly tax break to newspaper subscribers.
"[T]here is a significant question about whether the nonprofit model could supplant commercial ownership," read the annual State of the News Media 2009 report, released last week by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. "How many communities could muster the tens or hundreds of millions in nonprofit capital needed to buy a newspaper and similar amounts to absorb potential short-term losses and invest in improvements?..."
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Seriously, it makes interesting reading. I hadn't known any of this.
I especially get a kick out of this lefty professor's suggestion that the gummint give a $200 tax break to all newspaper subscribers. How do you suppose the free market would react to that?
Here is how I “react”:
How about we get someone in Congress to propose a TAX!
A TAX on NEWSPRINT!
Whereas the production of newspapers causes trees to be cut down, hauled by polluting trucks to polluting paper mills, and hauled from paper mills to publishers and
Whereas the production of newspapers requires toxic ink and solvents and energy wasting machinery and
Whereas the distribution of newspapers requires the use of dirty internal combustion engines and
Whereas a large portion of every landfill is used for discarded newspapers,
Be it resolved that a Newsprint tax, of $1,000.00 per pound, be charged to EVERY newspaper with a daily subscription, within the United States!
We should get some Republican to propose THIS as an amendment to any cap and trade or carbon tax proposal that comes up!
Maybe we can make it like Cap and Trade and use the revenue generated, from this tax on dirty dinosaur newspapers, to subsidize a tax credit for home computers and digital devices?
Or, we could use the money to subsidize talk radio! Well, those guys really dont need any help!
I bet it wouldn’t occur to them that millions of conservatives might simply subscribe to some new startup daily??
Then the left would have to find a way to make sure only leftist newspapers can get the ‘voucher’
some member of Congress has proposed to make newspapers tax exempt
well, the New York Times and the rest of the MSM have joined Mother Jones as non-profit organizations, but not intentionally.
If they give a $200 tax break for supporting the First Amendment, you think we could get one for the Second?
And Republicans need to push back by offering a tax on newsprint!
Many moons ago my left wing nut brother bought everyone in the entire family a subscription to Mother Jones magazine.
That was very funny.
The non profit New York Times. I love it.
Mother Jones -- tree-murderer and worse. Uses nasty, nasty chemicals to produce her paper.
And AFAIK no provision for "ownership of the waste product" -- you can't ship the expended magazines back for recycling into new products. Just more old linear-product thinking.
I say we let them all go bust and see how the marketplace creates better news entities.
At least if the print pubs go non-profit or become charity-supported operations we will be able to point and laugh heartily at the self-important and pompous “objective journalists” who go on the public dole.
Oh, yeah - whatever happened to “no tax breaks for the wealthy”? Got kinda silent there, didn’t it?
All together now:
No Tax Cuts For Polluters! Stop globull warming!!