Journalism's lifeline : exploring an American aversion to government aid
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Journalism is experiencing an existential crisis. The U.S. has assigned to free-market capitalism a task that it is incapable of achieving to the degree that benefits the public and democracy: investing in journalism as a public good. Journalism's dominant for-profit model demands revenue growth while attempting to balance its cultural and civic enterprises. This scenario has seen significant market influences tip the scale toward profit demands and away from journalism's normative functions. This underinvestment has resulted in growing news conglomerates, concentrating news media ownership, and proliferating news deserts. This reality leaves local communities without local newsrooms or local journalists, and desperately starved for quality news content. Previous research indicates that there is little-to-no desire for government aid as an option to sustain journalism among academics, policy makers, and media owners and managers in the journalism industry. However, there was little research indicating the perceptions of staff journalists at digital nonprofits. The purpose of this research explores the perceptions of the staff journalists at digitally native news nonprofits regarding government aid as an option to sustain journalism. A majority of the interviewed nonprofit journalists are receptive to government aid to sustain journalism, with some suggesting that journalism needs that aid to counter the market failure driving its collapse.