Non-profit newspapers

Orville Schell

Orville Schell

Orville Schell, formerly the dean of the graduate school of journalism at Berkeley (where I used to teach) and one of my mentors (of which more another time), has for years been saying that the future, if there is one, of the news business is as a non-profit public service.

In the last couple of years, I’ve been sensing that this is becoming conventional wisdom. Today, David Swenson, a legendary fund manager of Yale’s endowment, makes exactly this case in the New York Times. Given his credibility in matters of analysis–especially when the subject is endowments–this might lead to actual and big change soon.

Note that The Economist, though officially called a “newspaper”, is in a very different position than the kind that you used to wrap your fish in. Still, after years of chaos in the wider news industry, the thinking is at last getting clearer…

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