Free Press releases "Saving the News"

Last week, Free Press released "Saving the News:  Toward a National Journalism Strategy."  This 48-page document lays out a plan for preserving journalism that is centered on government guidance. 

The report says that journalism is too vital to be left open to market forces.  They argue that while the changes brought on by the internet and the industry's financial troubles will be innovative and necessary, there should be a larger guiding strategy:

"In other words, as much as the 'let a hundred flowers bloom' approach seems warranted, these experiments require nourishment.  With targeted government intervention, we can help bring many to fruition."

The report evaluates six major models for the future of journalism, before recommending a course of government-sponsored policies.  It envisions a public-service model of the press.

The recommended policies are:

  1. New ownership structures
  2. Incentives for Divestiture
  3. Journalism Jobs Program
  4. R&D Fund for Journalistic Innovation
  5. New Public Media

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This report has echoes of an earlier Nation article written by John Nichols and Robert McChesny, Free Press co-founders, that calls for government intervention.  You can read a MGP report on the article, including a summary and counter-arguments, here.  Visit Robert McChesney's giraffe profile here.

The report was timed to go with the May 14th Free Press Summit:  Changing Media held in Washington D.C.  You can read more about it on the Free Press website, it includes videos from the event, and a transcription of a speech by Craig Aaron that parallels the document.