Why Is Washington Singling Out Newspapers For A Tax Break Instead Of Journalism?

from the these-things-make-no-sense dept

We've discussed in the past the rather annoying tendency of some bemoaning the trouble facing newspapers (due to bad business decisions, such as taking on too much debt) of confusing "newspapers" for "journalism." They all too often assume that newspapers are the only source of journalism, when that simply isn't true. Unfortunately, it appears that politicians are guilty of the same basic fallacy. With reports that Washington State has created a special tax break for newspapers, Danny Sullivan is asking why isn't the tax break for journalism? By singling out newspapers, the politicians are effectively punishing journalists who work for other forms of media who didn't screw up their business, and rewarding the newspaper owners and management who made so many bad decisions.
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Filed Under: journalism, newspapers, tax break, washington

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  1. identicon
    anymouse, 14 May 2009 @ 12:19pm

    But the paper industry is going to survive (at least one company will)

    Washington State just passed a bill that requires all State higher eduction institutions in Washington to start using paper produced with 100% recycled content (may be post consumer, not positive on that part).

    I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the individual who was responsible for getting the bill pushed through also happens to own the ONLY paper company in Washington that produces paper that meets the requirements (shipping on paper from out of state is even more costly than buying it from them, so no other options really).

    So not only are we (Higher Education) getting our budget cut by almost 30% over the next 2 years (Higher Ed got the shaft in this budget, and we get to pass it on to students with a 14% per year tuition increase that I'm sure they just love), we are now required to pay a premium on 'recycled' paper just to support the failing greys port paper business (name changed to protect... who really cares... it's close enough to be recognizable for government work).

    I wouldn't be surprised if this newspaper 'bailout' plan also included requirements on the type of paper that they will use for printing (that also just happens to only be available from one paper company in Washington).

    Wouldn't it be great if we could all pass legislation to ensure the survival of our own businesses?

    I think my tinfoil hat is too tight today, I'm getting a headache (or the rays are getting thru).....

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