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In the Media

article imageObama may back 'newspaper revitalization act' media bailout

article:279512:24::0
By Michael Krebs
Sep 20, 2009 in Business
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Senator Cardin's newspaper bailout concept - that offers tax incentives for local newspapers that restructure as non-profit organizations - has received renewed attention, as President Obama says he'd be 'happy to look at' newspaper bailout bills.
Senator Cardin has been working to structure legislation that would reward local news organizations if they were to restructure as non-profit organizations - and not endorse political candidates.
"We are losing our newspaper industry," Cardin told Reuters earlier this year.
President Obama appeared to agree with the sentiments of Senator Cardin. Obama told editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade that he would "be happy to look at" newspaper bailout proposals of the type Cardin is promoting.
The White House has not paid much attention to the question of newspaper bailouts - saying it was not clear what government could do about the issue. However, President Obama now appears to have warmed to the idea.
Obama said that quality journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy." But with many local news institutions feeling the squeeze of the global recession, the threats to trustworthy reporting have come closer to home for the embattled president.
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," Obama said.
article:279512:24::0
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