Boston Globe: 'Bailout Journalists!'

The concept isn't new - it's already been suggested that the government give some of that free bailout cash to newspapers.

But David Scharfenberg of the Boston Globe is proposing something different; $100 million in bailout money for newspapers to establish or improve their web presence:

But there are ways to keep young journalists employed and, more importantly, to preserve the sort of journalism that keeps our democracy afloat.

Some have suggested changes in tax law that would make it easier for philanthropies to buy major news outlets, others favor a National Endowment for Journalism that newspapers could tap to pay for the investigative and international reporting now getting short-shrift.

But we need something bigger. Congress, intent on jump-starting the economy, should set aside $100 million - well under 1 percent of the stimulus approved by the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate - for a national journalism fund.

The cash would seed low-cost, Internet-based news operations in cities large and small - combining vigorous, professional reporting with blogging, video posts, citizen journalism, and aggregation of stories from other sources.

The sites would build on an emerging nonprofit news model that may be our best hope for preserving serious reporting. In California, the scrappy VoiceofSanDiego.org has unearthed all manner of municipal folly. MinnPost in the Twin Cities is doing similar work. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting set up shop at Boston University last month.

Nationally focused outlets like the decades-old Center for Investigative Reporting, in Berkeley, Calif., and the New York-based ProPublica, also specializing on investigative reporting, are making substantial contributions, too.

This would be a boon to liberal politics since the chances of any group getting this money investigating the Daschels, Geithners, or other Democrats are close to nil. 

The "Pro Publica" outfit mentioned above is the brainchild of Marion and Herbert Sandler who have given hundreds of millions to liberal causes over the past few years. The idea that this $100 million would benefit all journalism is not credible. The money would flow to companies already predisposed to muckrake against conservatives and Republicans.

Turning the press into an investigative arm of the government is not a good idea. But who's going to stop them if they wish to do this?

See also: A radical plan from the New York Times to save itself?



Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



The concept isn't new - it's already been suggested that the government give some of that free bailout cash to newspapers.

But David Scharfenberg of the Boston Globe is proposing something different; $100 million in bailout money for newspapers to establish or improve their web presence:

But there are ways to keep young journalists employed and, more importantly, to preserve the sort of journalism that keeps our democracy afloat.

Some have suggested changes in tax law that would make it easier for philanthropies to buy major news outlets, others favor a National Endowment for Journalism that newspapers could tap to pay for the investigative and international reporting now getting short-shrift.

But we need something bigger. Congress, intent on jump-starting the economy, should set aside $100 million - well under 1 percent of the stimulus approved by the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate - for a national journalism fund.

The cash would seed low-cost, Internet-based news operations in cities large and small - combining vigorous, professional reporting with blogging, video posts, citizen journalism, and aggregation of stories from other sources.

The sites would build on an emerging nonprofit news model that may be our best hope for preserving serious reporting. In California, the scrappy VoiceofSanDiego.org has unearthed all manner of municipal folly. MinnPost in the Twin Cities is doing similar work. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting set up shop at Boston University last month.

Nationally focused outlets like the decades-old Center for Investigative Reporting, in Berkeley, Calif., and the New York-based ProPublica, also specializing on investigative reporting, are making substantial contributions, too.

This would be a boon to liberal politics since the chances of any group getting this money investigating the Daschels, Geithners, or other Democrats are close to nil. 

The "Pro Publica" outfit mentioned above is the brainchild of Marion and Herbert Sandler who have given hundreds of millions to liberal causes over the past few years. The idea that this $100 million would benefit all journalism is not credible. The money would flow to companies already predisposed to muckrake against conservatives and Republicans.

Turning the press into an investigative arm of the government is not a good idea. But who's going to stop them if they wish to do this?

See also: A radical plan from the New York Times to save itself?



Hat Tip: Ed Lasky