National Newspaper Association last week applauded introduction of legislation that would make it easier for publishers to convert their newspapers to non-profit status if they choose.
The bill, the Saving Local Newspapers Act, by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., would clarify that publishing can be an acceptable purpose under non-profit tax rules. It would also allow advertising revenues to support a non-profit operation without being taxed as unrelated business income.
DeSaulnier said: “Local journalism has been a bedrock of American society for over 200 years. I remember when dedicated reporters sat in the front row of city council meetings to keep communities informed and to increase accountability. Today many local newspapers are dying out – penny pinching until they close or are bought up and sold off piecemeal by hedge funds. This bill would allow papers to renew their focus on quality content and flourish unencumbered by ever-increasing demands for greater profits.”
You can read the bill summary here.