The FTC to Hold Hold Workshops on Journalism in the Internet Age

First, there was John Kerry’s Congressional subcommittee hearing on “the Future of Journalism.” And now, the Federal Trade Commission is set to hold two days of workshops in December on journalism and its survival in the Internet age:

Though some may be uncomfortable with government oversight of any aspect of journalism, the F.T.C. seems to be “attempting to play a facilitating and public educational role in gathering together various disciplines and perspectives to talk about the crisis in mainstream journalism,” said Neil Henry, a professor and dean at the graduate school of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. “The government’s willingness to raise the profile of this issue, and to help explain why it is important for a national conversation, I think in general is welcome.”

In the end, however, the FTC says it will be the industry itself that will have to forge the path ahead in this new era. So what will the workshops do, exactly? From the FTC:

“The workshops will bring competition, consumer protection, and First Amendment perspectives to bear on the financial, technological, and other challenges facing the news industry,” says an FTC statement, “as consumers increasingly turn to the Internet for free news and information, advertisers increasingly move their ads onto online sites and reduce advertising buys as a result of the recession, and news organizations struggle with large debt that was taken on when times were better.”

You can read the FTC’s official announcement on the workshops here.

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