Free Press and SaveTheNews.org Share Ideas with the FTC on the Future of Journalism

More than 2,000 concerned citizens file comments in advance of December workshops
Contact Info: 
Moira Vahey, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x31

WASHINGTON -- On Friday, Free Press, SaveTheNews.org and thousands of citizens filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission on policy ideas to improve the future of journalism in America. In December, the FTC will hold a series of high-profile workshops on journalism and the news in our digital economy; the agency sought public input to shape the event.

In its comments, Free Press renewed its call for a comprehensive effort across government, private industry, the nonprofit sector and the public to address the challenges facing quality reporting in print, online, and on radio and TV. Free Press described how newsroom cuts are harming local communities and warned against the dangers of loosening antitrust protections or allowing greater media consolidation.

"We are encouraged by the FTC’s effort to examine the issues surrounding the future of journalism," said Josh Stearns, program director of Free Press and SavetheNews.org. "The crisis in journalism is undeniably an economic issue, but it is also fundamentally a policy problem. While we explore new economic models for journalism, we must also examine what role government can play in supporting this indispensable institution."

More than 2,000 concerned citizens responded to the FTC's call for public comment via the SaveTheNews.org Web site. Some called for renewed enforcement of media ownership laws; others wanted investment in innovation and experimentation in both commercial and nonprofit journalism. Still others saw a role for direct subsidies to journalists or nonprofit news organizations. There was broad support among those who filed comments for increasing funding for public media.

"This is an issue that affects all of us," Stearns said. "We commend the FTC for giving the public an opportunity to weigh in on the needs of their communities, and we hope the agency will continue to explore ways to include a broad range of viewpoints in this crucial discussion."

The filing is available at:
http://www.freepress.net/files/FTC_Journalism_Filing.pdf

See also:
2,000 Citizens Tell the FTC to Support Journalism
http://www.savethenews.org/blog/09/11/09/2000-citizens-tell-ftc-support-...

SaveTheNews.org FTC survey
http://free.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/FutureofJournalismSurvey

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good