Flemington, NJ Tea Party

The website for the Flemington Tea Party (SM) group, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Newspaper Bailout on the Way?

"Alternative funding options", indeed!

Congressional Hearing on the Future of Newspapers Set For Thursday
By Joe Strupp
Published: September 23, 2009 10:55b AM ET

NEW YORK While the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday takes up the issue of a federal shield law, another congressional committee in the House will be focused on the impact of the newspaper industry's financial problems.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Joint Economic Committee (JEC), will convene a hearing "to examine contraction in the newspaper industry, the economic impact of the changing media landscape, as well as the future of the industry at large," according to an announcement. The hearing, titled "The Future of Newspapers: The Impact on the Economy and Democracy," will take place Thursday, at 10:00 am in the Cannon House Office Building.

"I am holding the Joint Economic Committee hearing to examine the importance of newspapers to our democracy throughout our nation's history and the treacherous economic landscape they face," Maloney wrote in a statement to E&P. "The witnesses will review alternative funding options for newspapers in our new and ever-changing electronic age.
Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the federal government has acknowledged that the press is an institution which is afforded special protections by name. In this spirit, I think that the government can help foster solutions for this industry in ways which protect the independence of newspapers and enables their objective reporting to thrive in a new economic and media climate."

Among the witnesses scheduled to testify are Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, and Dr. Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public affairs, Stuart Chair of Communications and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.


Here are some of the results from the "hearing".

WASHINGTON — Facing declining advertising revenues, newspapers should be allowed to recoup taxes they paid on profits earlier this decade to help offset some of their current losses, an industry representative told a joint committee of Congress on Thursday.

Oh really? Well then I want that deal too. When I start making less money, give me back some of the taxes I paid in past years. In fact, I'm ready to start with tax year 2009!

While saying his industry doesn't want a government handout or subsidy, John Sturm, the Newspaper Association of America's president and CEO, said the tax break and letting companies spread out the required contributions to their employee pension plans are ways Congress could help struggling papers.

"Newspapers need cash now to preserve jobs next year," he said. "It's really that simple."

In other words, Sturm said "We need a government handout or subsidy, but you could roast me over hot coals and I'll never call it that by name."

Baloney, D-N.Y., is sponsoring legislation that would streamline the process for newspapers to convert to nonprofits similar to public broadcasting stations. Under the bill, advertising and subscription revenue would be tax-exempt and contributions for support would be tax-deductible.

Nice deal! Any bets as to which slimy left-wing New York rag will be the first to benefit under this enlightened legislation?

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