With newspapers still struggling to become financially viable, one journalist is arguing that they should seek to emulate the funding model already supporting public media.
Writing for the Courier Herald in Enumclaw, Wash., reporter Ray Still proposes:
…. the creation of the Corporation for Public Publishing, the CPB equivalent for non-profit print products, and the passing of a Congress in the Public Publishing Act, to encourage the growth and development of public publishing for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes.
(I pulled that language straight from the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. We’ve done it once and we can do it again.)
As with CPB, Still proposes that federal money funneled through this “CPP” would be made available through “community service grants, education grants, system grants and more to nonprofits dedicated to education, entertainment and, of course, news, in the form of regularly printed programs.” Newspapers would become nonprofit companies that could either remain independent or team up to share content among members, à la NPR or PBS.
Without being dependent on advertisers, nonprofit newspapers would look to their communities for support, Still writes, making them accountable to local wants and needs.
“Huge change is exactly what newspapers need in order to keep up with the needs of the country,” Still writes.
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