Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saving the newspapers

A US Senator has drafted a bill to provide tax breaks to newspapers that become non-profit corporations.

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.

Senator Cardin says that the "bill was aimed at preserving local and community newspapers, not conglomerates which may also own radio and TV stations." According to other things I've read, though, it is not the smaller local independents that are hurting the worst, because they are not facing as much competition as the big metro dailies, and they are not over-extended financially as the chains are.


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