Government to help Newspapers with tax breaks?

Reuters has the story here:

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. . . . . .

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. . . . .

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Blogger Brian K Miller said...

Great! As if the media were not propagandistic enough already! Now we're going to allow them all to become NPOs with a globalist agenda!

3/25/2009 3:36 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Government control of newspapers aside, they (the newspapers) are dying. Whether or not they should be allowed to die a natural death, or be put upon Government life support may be a highly charged issue to many, it is not to I.

Once newspapers gravitated away from their historical paper medium to the internet, they sealed their own fate.

As a person who spent a great deal of years in the graphics biz, I can assure all here that printing has been dying for a long time now. Computers have darn near killed the trade.

Other aspects are the huge costs involved with printing. For example, the last print shop I worked in was a high speed web press shop, and one day during the company party, the Company President mentioned to me that he wanted to purchase a new 'Heat Set Web Press', to which I replied; "That costs between 10 and 15 million dollars". The president of the company was suprised that I, being a lowly pressman would be aware of this (this was more than ten years ago).

The above cost was just for the press, and did not involve the costs of conforming to EPA regulations. That I am sure, would also run into the millions as extracting the evaporated mineral spirits would not be easy.

Newspapers are actually 'Cold Set', and do not cause as much pollution. So be it.

However, during my tenure as a printer, I was keenly interested as to why many shops I worked in simply failed. I discovered that even the best, most efficient, and biggest print shops, only opererated at a 2 to 3 percent profit margin. Couple this with having to compete with the advertising revenue battle between newpapers and the internet.

What would any company do if they had to choose between a website that anyone, anywhere in the world can look at, and the return on the investment is so much greater than having to purchase space in a great deal of newspapers that only cover a limited area?

Either newspapers return to paper medium and find a new revenue source, or they die. Taxpayer money will not save the day for newspapers.

Game Over.

As to the ramifications of Government run newspapers, one only has to look at the history of media control by despots to accurately predict the outcome of such a move towards government control of media.

I do so miss running those huge presses... So many different jobs, so many different viewpoints being expressed on paper. Far Left, Far Right, and everything inbetween.

Newspapers, books, manuals, ads, etc. Those were the days...

3/28/2009 12:03 PM  

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