FTC's 'Journalism Reinvention Ideas: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Examining the Federal Trade Commission's Talking Points on Possible Federal Aid for Newspapers

Editor & Publisher, August 2010 | Go to article overview

FTC's 'Journalism Reinvention Ideas: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Examining the Federal Trade Commission's Talking Points on Possible Federal Aid for Newspapers


THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) IS AT PAINS TO EMPHASIZE that the ideas contained in its "staff discussion draft of potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism" are just talking points--not steps the government is about to implement. That's a good thing, because the proposals packed in its 47 pages range from the brilliant to the boneheaded. With discussions continuing on the FTC draft, here's E&P's take on some of the ideas, from a newspaper industry perspective.

BUSINESS MODELS

Worthwhile: Extending so-called L3C corporations to newspapers and other general news organizations. The draft makes the best case for changing IRS standards for tax exemption to recognize that journalism is a public benefit and allow media companies to incorporate as low-profit limited liability companies that can operate as for-profit businesses while also accepting funding or investments from non-profits. Similarly, other proposals would let newspapers operate as "Flexible Purpose" or "Benefit" corporations.

Worth thinking about: In the welter of ill-conceived ideas that would give newspapers antitrust exemptions for various purposes are two more sensible proposals: allowing news organizations to "agree jointly to erect pay walls" and allowing them to "agree jointly on a mechanism to require news aggregators and others to pay for the use of online content."

What were they thinking?: Apparently some publishers are urging the FTC to recommend extending and strengthening the Newspaper Preservation Act. The joint operating agreements (JOAs) permitted under the law have a miserable record of "preserving" newspapers. Two cases in point from 2009: The Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

PROTECTING ONLINE CONTENT

Worthwhile: There's no more fraught issue in cyberspace than trying to reconcile the public interest in a free and open Web with a newspaper's natural economic interest in preventing its expensively produced reports from simply being swiped in nanoseconds by any number of Websites or aggregators news in a cut-and-paste world. Yet this complex problem may have a simple answer: Amend federal copyright law to again permit news organizations to sue "free riders" who grab their content under the old "hot news" doctrine still recognized by some states. Though this draft isn't supposed to take sides, it makes a strong ease for this idea advanced most prominently by the brothers David and Daniel Marburger.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Worth thinking about: In this part of the draft there's little that comes close to the copyright solution. There are proposals for federal legislation defining hot news or allowing states to set their own hot news standards that might reach a fair balance, but, like the amended Copyright Act itself, technology could soon bring out unintended consequences. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

FTC's 'Journalism Reinvention Ideas: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Examining the Federal Trade Commission's Talking Points on Possible Federal Aid for Newspapers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.