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FTC Will Team With FCC To Vet Journalism's Future

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz says the commission will hold workshops in the spring on possible policy changes to help save journalism. They could include taxes, cross-ownership issues, changes in copyright laws, and antitrust treatment.

That came in the kickoff to "How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?," a two-day Federal Trade Commission workshop prompted by the declining fortunes of print--and broadcast--journalism and the rise of the Internet.

Leibowitz said the FTC would work closely with the FCC on those issues and whether the government will need to step in, and how.

Leibowitz said that the commission was not out to undo the profound changes wrought on journalism by the Internet, "nor do we want to," he said. What he wants to find out, he said, is whether the "creative destruction" brought about by the Internet's impact on journalism represents more destruction than creation for journalism and what, if anything, the government needs to do about it.

He said it was appropriate for the FTC to investigate because of its competition and consumer protection policy interest, including the impact of behavioral advertising journalism organizations are using to increase ad revenue online, but also because of its role in recommending policy to Congress.