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Study: Federal Subsidies For Press Decline

Government subsidies have been crucial to American newspapers and magazines for more than two centuries, even if most journalists and readers don't realize it, according to a new report by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the USC. Government support for newspapers and magazines has fallen from more than $4 billion in 1970, to less than $2 billion.

Since 1792, publications have enjoyed discounted postage rates, but over the last 40 years, it's whittled down from 75% to 11%, a difference of about $1.7 billion in today's dollars. Local, state and federal laws require governments to publish notices - in effect, buying newspaper ads. But there is a growing movement to put such notices on their own Web sites. Value: $1 billion. Final category: special tax treatment for publications, like reduced sales tax rates on paper and ink. The tax breaks are worth at least $900 million.



Read the whole story at The New York Times »

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