Per your footnote, the act might have been content-neutral. It was NOT size-neutral or rather, it was not size-biased toward actual community papers, ie five-day dailies (print) and smaller. Why I was against it from the start. https://beloblogging.blogspot.com/2021/07/whats-to-stop-newspaper-owners-from.html

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Not to defend hedge funds but the credits are tied to staffing, so owners would only benefit if they retain or hire journalists. The idea is to temporarily interrupt the downward trend, or stop the bleeding, while longer term solutions are pursued to restore and sustain local outlets.

If the credits were in place, Gannett would likely be laying off fewer or no reporters, because it could only receive a credit per journalist retained. The credits would also help local publishers buying the chains’ castoffs and starting new outlets.

Philanthropic support is great but see the latest from Medill on how it’s wildly uneven and mostly benefiting affluent and metro areas, not news deserts.

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