Brilliant Shirkey piece. He only leaves out one thing. The dying incumbents are going to successfully seek money and protection from the government. With a Democrat president and congress, their faithful allies, lickspittles, bootlickers, toadies, buttboys, catamites, lackeys also knows as “the media” will come to DC with palm extended, upright, demanding the payment that their partisan loyalty has earned. They will get protection and money.
They will not survive that much longer as a result.
In the same thread, democratic core remarked:
The Shirky piece raises fascinating issues. The question of what the new economic model for journalism will be is interesting, and I appreciate the fact that this piece raises the question explicitly. Contrary to Lexington’s comment, I doubt that there will be a government bailout, as the First Amendment issues would seem to make that unpalatable to both parties. The non-profit approach is one logical evolution, where “newspapers”, i.e., centers of journalistic activites, get absorbed into non-profit institutions such as think tanks or universities to provide content to organs of information dissemination. Another model might be the C-span model, where profitable internet organizations such as Google fund the entities we used to call “newspapers” in order to provide content for the web. Most likely, you could have some combination of the two, as for example in the way that profit-making organizations subsidize research activities by non-profit institutions such as universities.
Now we have this. A remarkable turn-around time:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.
“This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat,” said Senator Benjamin Cardin.
A Cardin spokesman said the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.
Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.
Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements.
Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax exempt, and contributions to support news coverage or operations could be tax deductible.
Because newspaper profits have been falling in recent years, “no substantial loss of federal revenue” was expected under the legislation, Cardin’s office said in a statement.
Cardin’s office said his bill was aimed at preserving local and community newspapers, not conglomerates which may also own radio and TV stations. His bill would also let a non-profit buy newspapers owned by a conglomerate.
“We are losing our newspaper industry,” Cardin said. “The economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy.