For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

Free Press Presents New Policies to Save the News

WASHINGTON - Today, Free Press released Saving the News: Toward a National Journalism Strategy,
a new report on how the government should respond to the current crisis
in journalism. The report provides an in-depth analysis of ideas and
proposals being debated around the future of the news business and
advocates for a range of short- and long-term strategies.

"Traditional media have been battered by a perfect storm, as the
rise of the Internet and the disappearance of traditional ad dollars
collided with the economic downturn," said Craig Aaron,
senior program director of Free Press and co-author of the report. "But
many of the media industry's wounds are self-inflicted, the result of
bad business decisions and failed strategy, aided by idle regulators
who looked the other way. We need a new approach."

Read Saving the News:

The report analyzes the collapse of the traditional business model
for news and describes the alternatives emerging in its place. The
report argues that new policies are needed to sustain vital
professional journalism while embracing digital technology and the
power of the Internet.

Saving the News identifies five promising models that should be top priorities for policymakers:

  • New Ownership Structures. Encouraging
    the establishment of nonprofit and low-profit news organizations
    through tax-exempt and low-profit limited liability company (L3C)
  • New Incentives. Creating tax incentives and revising bankruptcy laws to encourage local, diverse, nonprofit, low-profit and employee ownership.
  • Journalism Jobs Program. Funding training and retraining for novice and veteran journalists in multimedia and investigative reporting.
  • R&D Fund for Journalism Innovation. Investing in innovative projects and experimenting to identify and nurture new models.
  • New Public Media. Transforming public
    media into a world-class noncommercial news operation utilizing new
    technology and focused on community service.

"We are venturing into uncharted territory," said Victor Pickard,
Free Press senior research fellow and co-author of the report. "The
collapse of advertising-supported journalism may leave whole sections
of the population without a fully functional press, and that is simply
unacceptable for a democracy. We need policies to help keep reporters
on the beat, while also investing in long-term models for public
service journalism."

Saving the News calls for a far-reaching national
journalism strategy built around the principles of protecting the First
Amendment, producing quality coverage, providing adversarial
perspectives, promoting public accountability, and prioritizing

"There is no magic bullet," said Josh Stearns,
program manager of Free Press and co-author of the report. "Answering
the crisis in journalism will require a menu of responses, not a
one-size-fits-all solution. But now is the time to engage the public in
the debate over the policies that will reshape the future of news."

The new report is included in Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age, a book that will be released at the Free Press Summit on May 14. For more information about this event, visit

Read Saving the News:


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