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Who Pays for the News?

Media Business Models and the Role of Philanthropy

American journalism has entered a phase of what the economist Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction.” Gone are the fat profit margins that once underwrote investigative teams and deep, experienced teams of reporters to monitor and hold accountable both government and private power. New and exciting forms of journalism are sprouting, but new business models have yet to evolve to replace the old ones that are crumbling.

And while the demise of any one media outlet is a problem mainly for its owners and audience, the broad decline of independent, investigative journalism is a serious threat to U.S. politics and public interest. If the market won't underwrite good journalism, are there other models that will?

This Washington Monthly/New America event looked at the precarious state of serious journalism today, various not-for-profit ventures currently underway, and a wide array of possible remedies for newspapers and other media. Video of the opening keynote by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) is viewable at right, while both audio and video of both panel discussions are available below.


New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC, 20036
See map: Google Maps


Opening Keynote | Video | Audio
  • Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
    Sponsor, S.673, "The Newspaper Revitalization Act"
Panel I: The Public Interest and a Changing Press | Video | Audio
  • James Bennet
    Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
  • Paul Glastris
    Editor in Chief, The Washington Monthly
    Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
  • Alex Jones
    Director, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy
  • Maxine Teller
    Founder, MiXT Media Strategies
  • Douglas McGray (moderator)
    Fellow, New America Foundation
Panel II: Non-Profit Media and the Role of Philanthropy | Video | Audio
  • Jeffrey Leonard
    CEO, The Global Environment Fund
  • Mark Paul
    Senior Scholar, New America Foundation
  • John Thornton
    Chairman, Steady Strain Media
    General Partner, Austin Ventures
  • Tracy Van Slyke
    Director, The Media Consortium
  • Steve Coll (moderator)
    President and CEO, New America Foundation
    Staff Writer, The New Yorker
    Former Managing Editor, The Washington Post

Event Time and Location

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - 9:45am - 12:30pm

Event Photos

A range of photos from this event are available on Flickr. Click on the icon at left to view or download the photos.