Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bill seeks non-profit status for newspapers

Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin has introduced legislation that would newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks, a proposal that might help those who are attempting to buy the Chronicle (See "Plan hatched to turn Chron into a nonprofit" below).

The bill would offer newspapers tax exemptions for advertising and subscription revenue. But in return newspapers would have to agree to stop making political endorsements on the editorial page. Apparently the bill would have no other First Amendment givebacks. As Reuters put it, "newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns."

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