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Mmmmm. Our esteemed director and professor are against one, but maybe, just maybe, that’s what newspapers need. Not so their owners can continue making obsene amounts of profit, but to rescue important community institutions (the L.A. Times comes to mind). A government bailout and a restructuring of ownership could relieve the debt burden many newspapers are carrying and give control to community members who value their role in the democratic process and not just as cash cows.

Let’s be real: there’s no way indebted newspaper chains (McClatchy, Media News, Tribune) can keep up with the exorbitant payments their huge debt demands of them. It’s as if a waiter had purchased a million dollar home (something he couldn’t afford to begin with) that later lost half its value in the real estate crash.

McClatchy stock closed at 66 cents Friday, a 13 percent decline from the previous day. You all know about LA Times, and Media News and Gannett have both implemented one-week furloughs for all their employees. Basically, they want to stop the bleeding with a band-aid…

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5 Comments

  1. My former boss, Howard Weaver, did a blog this week making fun of people calling for philanthropic support for journalists. He said he wouldn’t name names but said “You know who you are.” What I think about philanthropy is that it shouldn’t be taken off the table in thinking about how journalism gets paid for.

  2. I just don’t see a one-size fits all model. But mcclatchy is really that low? that’s incredible and awful at the same time. But we’ve got to do something radical.

  3. Well, a government bailout would be radical, And we’re not talking about just one model, it’s just one of the many ideas floating out there.

  4. Im inclined to think philanthropy simply extends the demise of these troubled papers, covering up the real problem–the business model is under duress. I have begun to think that perhaps the phase of capitalism whose height corresponds with the newspaper hey-day is shifting entirely, and the newspaper’s resilience as a part of the market system should not be confused so closely attached to its purpose in our democracy.

    New media is breaking down a lot of walls and overthrowing the authority over information and its dissemination that has reigned for so long. Journalism is becoming a conversation, as much as a product. One that still should be happening as part of our a democracy, no matter how differently it participates in the capitalist system.

  5. I think philanthropy could be an option, but I don’t want the government to get involved. We’ve already awarded avarice on Wall Street. I don’t want do the same with MSM. And I don’t want to worry about the strings that would accompany a bailout.


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