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Help wanted: Senate bill seeks to assist struggling newspapers

WASHINGTON, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Just thought you media watchers out there might like to know that the decline of the American newspaper has reached the Senate floor.

In fact, as Congressional Quarterly reported today, members of Congress are now proposing ways to help “from allowing media organizations to form as nonprofits to easing antitrust laws.”

(Incidentally, Congressional Quarterly — the Hill publication that media organizations, Congressional staffers and politicians rely on for detailed play-by-play information on policy debates and other Congressional odds and ends — is for sale.)

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., introduced legislation Tuesday to permit newspapers to operate as nonprofits, or 501(c)3 corporations. (MinnPost is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.) Among other things, this would mean that newspapers would not be allowed to make political endorsements. They would, however, be able to continue coverage of politics and campaigns.