The FTC staff, far from making recommendations yet after an initial round of hearings, points the way to a number of options for the economic resuscitation of the declining business model besetting journalism in the U.S., the implications of which are far-reaching into other territories.
It is interesting to note the emphasis on diagnosis and the relatively small prescriptive measures attached to the condition of contemporary journalism. The FTC staff identify many ailments and propose few remedies that are outside of the realm of protecting the status quo. Rather than latch on to the future of the craft, it has instead focused attention on how to preserve.
Nevertheless, some of the stimulus measures it wants discussed include:
1. Increased rights of organizations and individuals against aggregators.
2. Stronger copyright protection, including provisions enforcing protection of "hot news."
3. Exploration of the right of companies to collectively enforce pay walls or licensing mechanisms for royalties.
4. Several measures of government support for journalism, including vouchers to support citizen journalism and a national fund for local news, among many other things.
5. Legal changes to encourage new news organizations.
The FTC document is being circulated for public comment--- Jeff Jarvis, a contributor to the hearings earlier, weighs in with his observations here --- but what it's trying to enact is a public conversation on how best to address the struggling U.S. condition. What isn't clear is how the public will respond to measures that seem protective and acquisitive.