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Congressional Hearing on the Future of Newspapers Set For Thursday

• Editor & Publisher
NEW YORK While the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday takes up the issue of a federal shield law, another congressional committee in the House will be focused on the impact of the newspaper industry's financial problems.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Joint Economic Committee (JEC), will convene a hearing "to examine contraction in the newspaper industry, the economic impact of the changing media landscape, as well as the future of the industry at large," according to an announcement. The hearing, titled "The Future of Newspapers: The Impact on the Economy and Democracy," will take place Thursday, at 10:00 am in the Cannon House Office Building.

"I am holding the Joint Economic Committee hearing to examine the importance of newspapers to our democracy throughout our nation's history and the treacherous economic landscape they face," Maloney wrote in a statement to E&P. "The witnesses will review alternative funding options for newspapers in our new and ever-changing electronic age. Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the federal government has acknowledged that the press is an institution which is afforded special protections by name. In this spirit, I think that the government can help foster solutions for this industry in ways which protect the independence of newspapers and enables their objective reporting to thrive in a new economic and media climate."

Among the witnesses scheduled to testify are Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, and Dr. Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public affairs, Stuart Chair of Communications and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.

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