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Former Harvard Law Dean Who Wants Government to Save the News Business

Washington Monthly – “In an interview, Martha Minow argues the constitution doesn’t merely allow government to keep journalism outlets afloat, but requires it…In her new book, Saving the News: Why the Constitution Calls for Government Action to Preserve Freedom of Speech, Harvard Law professor (and former dean) Martha Minow argues that government policies to keep media outlets afloat are not merely permitted under the Constitution, but mandated by it. “The guarantee of free speech and a free press in the U.S. Constitution’s much-exalted First Amendment presupposes the existence of an independent press,” Minow writes. Therefore, it’s wholly acceptable for the government to take action to secure its survival. To that end, Minow proposes stricter regulation of internet platforms and more robust government backing for struggling news organizations in the form of tax breaks and government investment in a “public internet.” I spoke with Minow recently about the threat social media platforms pose to journalism, what the government can do to support struggling newsrooms, and whether liberals and conservatives can find common ground in this area…”

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