Politics & Media
Feb 04, 2009, 04:52AM

The case for the non-profit newspaper

It's not that print media are unsalvageable—it's that they're not salvageable in their current incarnation.

Right now, any half-decent plan is better than none:

Another is that as things migrate online, the economic foundation of news reporting is looking shaky. But these two things aren’t the same problem, and they’re not equally problematic. If a billionaire was asking me whether investing charitable giving in the media sector was a good idea, I would tell him “yes.” But I wouldn’t tell him to invest in a non-profit newspaper. The smart thing to do would be either to spend money so that existing non-profit media operations—ThinkProgress, the Center for Independent Media, ProPublica, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly, The Nation, etc.—can add capacity, or else to spend money to create a new non-profit media operation (my suggestion would be a focus on state and local reporting somewhere).

  • Matt Yglesias is an excellent writer, but I think this piece is somewhat naive. Big media companies WANT to make a profit; changing that mindset won't come easily.

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  • No conservative magazines were listed in the piece, but one great one stands out: The New Criterion. Also, Slate's Jack Shafer has a completely opposing view here: [http://www.slate.com/id/2210333/]

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