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article imageFTC examining government role in helping news organizations

By Michael Krebs     Dec 1, 2009 in Business
With the recession continuing to take a toll on advertising dollars for news gathering organizations, the Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday that it would study the role of government in helping beleaguered journalistic bodies.
While there have been reports of early recovery signs in America's advertising recession, the damage has already been done to many companies that gather and supply news stories and that rely on advertising revenue to underwrite that supply.
Some industry leaders are fostering a broad sense of optimism. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has been bullish on the future of journalism, although he has concerns over the nature of news consumption on the web.
However, others in the news content space have a completely different take on the nature of journalism. AOL's recent announcement that it plans to use algorithms instead of editors colors a particular take on the future of news reporting.
Given these dynamics and the pressing revenue losses exhibited by newspaper companies and broadcasting empires, the FTC's decision to take a closer look at how government can help news gathering organizations is not entirely surprising.
On Tuesday, the FTC kicked off a two day exploratory workshop to better understand the future of journalism.
"We should be able to take action if necessary to preserve the news that is vital to democracy," FTC Chairman Jon Liebowitz said.
More public workshops on the matter will be held next year.
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