The Federal Trade Commission will hold its third and final workshop on the future of journalism at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on June 15, 2010. Information about the series of workshops can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/opp/workshops/news/index.shtml. An agenda for this third workshop will be posted at a later date.
Consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet for news and information. Advertisers are moving ads to online sites and scaling back on ad buys as a result of the recession, and news organizations are struggling with large debts they took on during better times. As a result, some are questioning how journalism can survive and thrive in the future.
At the June 15 workshop, a small group of experienced journalists, publishers, academics, economists, and other policy experts will compare, contrast, and evaluate the ideas for sustaining journalism that have been set forth in two previous FTC workshops and in a wide variety of reports and conferences. This discussion will help inform potential recommendations to be contained in a report the FTC will release later this fall.
A staff discussion draft that briefly summarizes the state of journalism today, and sets forth the various proposals raised to date, has been posted on the FTC’s website. Through this document, the FTC staff seeks to prompt discussion of whether to recommend policy changes, and, if so, which specific proposals would be most useful, feasible, platform-neutral, resistant to bias, and unlikely to cause unintended consequences in addressing emerging gaps in news coverage. FTC staff anticipates that different workshop participants will criticize or improve some or all proposals, and add ideas of their own. The purpose of the staff discussion draft is precisely to encourage such additional analyses and brainstorming.
The list of proposals in this document is not exhaustive, and FTC staff welcomes additional proposals, as well as comments on the currently included proposals. To file comments, visit: http://public.commentworks.com/ftc/newsmediaworkshop.
The workshop is free and open to the public, but space is limited and attendees will be admitted on a first-come basis. The workshop will be held at: The National Press Club, 549 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but who cannot attend can view a live webcast; A link will be available on the day of the workshop at: http://www.ftc.gov/opp/workshops/news/index.shtml.
The National Press Club is hosting a luncheon during the workshop. The speaker at the luncheon will be Paul Steiger, Editor-in-Chief, President, and Chief Executive Officer of ProPublica, and former Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. Workshop attendees who wish to attend the luncheon can do so for the admission price of $28.00, and should make reservations directly with the National Press Club at 202-662-7501, email@example.com, or www.press.org.
In December 2009, the FTC held its first two-day workshop on the future of journalism, focusing on problems with the advertising-supported business model for journalism revealed in the current news environment. Panelists discussed the economics of journalism in print and online, new business models for journalism, and factors relevant to the new economic realities for news organization.
In March 2010, a second two-day workshop focused on various policy proposals that have been made for new ways to support journalism. For example, panelists discussed changes to copyright, corporate, tax, and other law; public funding mechanisms; and using new technologies to help lower the costs of journalism.