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article imageWhite House has no plans to bail out the newspaper industry

By Michael Krebs     May 4, 2009 in Business
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he's unsure what the government can do to bring stability to the sliding newspaper industry. A government bailout does not appear to be in the cards.
As the fate of The Boston Globe now hangs in the balance, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs indicated that the White House has no plans to bailout the nation's ailing newspaper industry.
There has been speculation in the Senate around a newspaper bailout program (for more, please see the story here), but it appears that the White House is not on board.
According to Politico, Mr. Gates told reporters that the government may not be able to reverse the industry's decline.
“I don’t know what, in all honesty, government can do about it,” Gibbs said, according to Politico.
The same could be said for the U.S. auto industry, yet the government moved quickly to intervene in Detroit's future. It was unclear whether the White House deemed the jobs threatened by the newspaper industry's decline as less important than those threatened by America's long-struggling automotive sector.
Mr. Gibbs acknowledged that a newspaper rescue plan would be a "tricky area to get into," given the need to separate government communications from free market journalism. The public trust would certainly be better served by independent sources, but losing large-scale news outlets to the whim of market forces could represent a different threat to democracy.
Citing the Politico story, "Gibbs said President Barack Obama 'believes there has to be a strong free press' and expressed 'concern and sadness' over the state of the industry."
More about Newspapers, Bailout, Government, White house, Recession
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