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Friday, October 20, 2017
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Federal Trade Commission discusses journalism industry changes

Tags: Journalism

The Federal Trade Commission will hold its third and final workshop Tuesday in an attempt to determine the fate of the journalism industry.

In May 2009, the FTC began a project targeting the challenges the journalism industry is currently facing, aiming to reinvent the industry altogether. On May 24, the FTC released a staff discussion report titled "Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism."

The 47-page document details the government’s efforts to revive the nation’s struggling media outlets. Among the proposals considered in the report:

• Creating a “journalism” division of AmeriCorps, the federal program that annually pairs over 75,000 people with local and national non-profit groups

• Increased public radio and television funding

• Gants for universities that conduct investigative journalism

• Allowing every taxpayer to allocate an amount of government funds to a non-profit media organization of their choice

• Tax credits for news organizations for every journalist employed

• A five percent tax on consumer electronics, generating $4 billion annually, to finance the increased funding

“Journalism is moving through a significant transition in which business models are crumbling, innovative new forms of journalism are emerging, and consumer news habits are changing rapidly,” the document states. “We seek to prompt discussion of whether to recommend policy changes to support the ongoing ‘reinvention’ of journalism."

In Tuesday’s workshop, a small group of experienced journalists, publishers, academics, economist and other policy experts will analyze the above proposals and many others which would then be recommended in the FTC’s fall report, according to a press release on the agency’s website.

A copy of the FTC's full report can be found here.

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