The Federal Trade Commission has hosted a series of workshops on the Future of Journalism: “How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” Panelists have represented a wide range of views from bloggers such as Search Engine Land and BlogHer to online publishers like ProPublica and the New Haven Independent and traditional media companies such as News Corp. and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
On May 24, the FTC released a staff discussion draft in advance of the next workshop on June 15. The discussion draft collects proposals and public comments articulated during previous panel conversations and in reports and articles about the future of journalism. The staff discussion draft states:
“[T]hrough this document, we seek to prompt discussion of whether to recommend policy changes to support the ongoing reinvention of journalism, and, if so, which specific proposals appear most useful, feasible, platform-neutral, resistant to bias, and unlikely to cause unintended consequences in addressing emerging gaps in news coverage.”
The FTC has not endorsed the idea of making any policy recommendation or recommended any of the proposals in the discussion draft.
Recent press reports have erroneously stated that the FTC is supporting and proposing some of the public comments (for example, taxes on electronic devices, favoring one medium over another).
The discussion draft and workshop info can be found at the FTC website: http://www.ftc.gov/opp/workshops/news/index.shtml.