With the industry in dire straits, some in the journalism business want government help—but they’re not looking for a financial bailout, Reuters reports. “That is so clearly contrary to what our role is as a watchdog that it’s just not acceptable,” said a former newspaper editor. What publishers want are legal concessions: changes to antitrust laws, tax breaks, perhaps the ability to become non-profits.
A change in antitrust laws could allow publishers to gather and figure out how to fix the industry. As it stands, “antitrust concerns inhibit even the most rudimentary discussions,” says a newspaper head. The attorney general says he’s not opposed to such a move. But the head of the Federal Trade Commission says “the nature of the problem” needs a closer look first.