The Philadelphia Inquirer Belongs to a Non-Profit Now
The Philadelphia Inquirer Belongs to a Non-Profit NowJan 16
The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the oldest newspapers in the country, is going non-profit. Specifically, it and it’s sister publications, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, have been donated to Institute for Journalism in New Media, which itself is part of the Philadelphia Foundation. The move is an attempt to ease the financial burden that legacy news organizations face these days.
People have been saying for some time that “print is dead,” and while it continually proves them wrong, newspapers have been struggling across the country. The goal with this move is to make that easier by making the paper leaner. They still need to generate profit, but that money has to be sunk back into the company, instead of going to owners.
The Tampa Bay Times is also owned by a non-profit, the Poynter Institute, but unlike the Philadelphia Inquirer, that paper is held as a for-profit subsidiary. The Inquirer and her sisters have started down a new path, the effects of which remain to be seen.
But it stands to reason that the non-profit world is perhaps where newspapers, perhaps journalism in general, belong. While they have historically been for-profit, and often started as money making ventures, newspapers have long filled an essential role within democracy. While blogs and other websites are horning in on that territory, newspapers still serve a purpose, especially for those readers who do not have Internet access. Not having a computer shouldn’t prevent you from keeping up with the news.
So it makes sense that a medium so essential to the workings of democracy, which is intended to inform the citizenry and to uplift them, should be non-profit. It benefits the readers, by keeping newspapers around, and it benefits those with jobs in he industry, from journalists to printers, who are at risk of losing their jobs in attempts to keep those papers lean and profitable.