A bad idea?


A colleague emailed this link with a subject line reading “Crazy! Non-profit papers?”

I wonder if AIG bonus recipients would care to advise newspapers of how calm and dispassionate members of Congress can be when they are legitimately criticized for their own actions. I wonder what the first newspaper whose specially conferred tax exempt status would be revoked, or threatened to be revoked. How many editors would be called on the carpet at congressional hearings and asked whether their columnists weren’t intervening in political campaigns by criticizing incumbents?

Don’t get me wrong–I think non-profit journalism is part of the future, just as it’s been part of the past (e.g., Center for Public Integrity, Pro Publica). I just don’t think special legislation to allow incumbent newspaper companies to change their tax status in exchange for giving up part of their protected first amendment protections is the right way to go.