FTC STAFF DISCUSSION DRAFT
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION STAFFDISCUSSION DRAFT:
POTENTIAL POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO SUPPORTTHE REINVENTION OF JOURNALISMPlease note: T
his draft does not represent conclusions or recommendations by theCommission or FTC staff; it is solely for purposes of discussion.
Introduction and Brief Background
In May 2009, the Federal Trade Commission announced a project to consider thechallenges faced by journalism in the Internet age. Now, one year later, staffresponsible for this project present this draft for discussion of 1) the tentativeconclusions outlined here about the current and likely future environments for newsgathering and reporting, and 2) potential policy recommendations to address the issuesraised during this proceeding. We note that this draft does not represent conclusions orrecommendations by the Commission or FTC staff; it is solely for purposes ofdiscussion, in particular at FTC roundtable discussions to be held on June 15, 2010, atthe National Press Club. Journalism is moving through a significant transition in which business modelsare crumbling, innovative new forms of journalism are emerging, and consumer newshabits are changing rapidly. We are greatly indebted to the many journalists,newspaper publishers and editors, creators of new online news organizations,economists, lawyers, academics, and others who have contributed their time andexpertise to describe and analyze this transition, thus providing the foundation for thisdocument. Many have already organized conferences and written reports that expertlyaggregate and assess the vast majority of the relevant information. We are well awarethat we are in no way writing on a clean slate.Rather, through this document, we seek to prompt discussion of whether torecommend policy changes to support the ongoing “reinvention” of journalism, and, ifso, which specific proposals appear most useful, feasible, platform-neutral, resistant tobias, and unlikely to cause unintended consequences in addressing emerging gaps innews coverage. The list of proposals in this document is no doubt incomplete, and we1