Survey Suggests Majority Oppose Taxes to Save Journalism

    June 8, 2010
    Chris Crum

Update: NYT’s Brad Stone has written another post about Pulse. He quotes a spokesperson for the Times, who says, "We want to be clear that we are willing to work with Pulse, but only under our terms of use."

More here.

Original Article: As we referenced in an earlier article, the Federal Trade Commission is considering whether or not it can step in and save journalism. A "staff discussion" document from the FTC proposes some ideas for "Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism".

Among the ideas in the document are various taxes. For example, a 5% tax on consumer electronics is mentioned. The document suggests this would generate about $4 billion annually. An ISP-cell phone tax is also mentioned, which the document says would generate $6 billion annually.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 1,000 adults about such taxes. Here are some of the results they are reporting:

New York Times on iPad - Would you support taxes on consumer electronics like the iPad to save journalism? – 84% oppose a 3% tax on monthly cell phone bills to help newspapers and traditional journalism. 10% favor it.

– 76% oppose a proposed 5% tax on the purchase of consumer electronic items such as computers, iPads and Kindles to help support newspapers and traditional journalism. 16% support it.

– 74% oppose the proposal to tax web sites like the Drudge Report to help the newspapers they draw their headlines from. 18% of Adults favor placing an additional tax on Internet news sites.

– 71% oppose the creation of a taxpayer-funded program that would hire and pay young reporters to work for newspapers around the country. 14% support such a program, while 15% are undecided.

– 58% of Americans are confident that online and other news sources will make up the difference if many newspapers go out [of] business.

It’s important to note that at the beginning of the document, it says, "This draft does not represent final conclusions or recommendations by the Commission or FTC staff; it is solely for purposes of discussion," but still, these are potential policy recommendations.

Would you support any of the taxes mentioned? Share your thoughts here.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.