Is nonprofit status the answer for financially failing newspapers?
There is a lot of discussion in the public domain about the future of newspapers. Some have opined that newspapers that can’t make it financially in the current environment should be given a federal bailout. Others have said that the market should dictate the outcomes because newspapers are just another business. Then there is the idea that newspapers could become nonprofit organizations, complete with tax-exempt status. This last idea is the subject of an interesting paper authored by Marion R. Fremont-Smith, and published by the Joan Shorenstein on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. It is entitled Can Nonprofits Save Journalism? Legal Constraints and Opportunities. Fremont states that, “…review of the law and these rulings strongly suggests that, under existing conditions, a nonprofit newspaper could qualify for tax exemption without the need for legislation by Congress or waiting for the IRS to issue new guidelines.” Click here to read the paper.