Report from Columbia University urges help to preserve journalism: Philanthropic money to aid journalists?

The headline caught my eye. Journalism does indeed need preserving, but my ideas about how to do so were not even close to those laid out in the report.

I am thinking that journalism needs more of a scrubbing – a good clean-up, more about getting to journalist ethics. A report, co-authored by a former executive editor for the Washington Post, doesn’t go there.

Len Downie, in a report commissioned by the Columbia University Journalist School, wants “nonprofits” (philanthropists) to step in and help financially, as well as lobby for government tax codes granting nonprofit status – and how about that suggested fee for telecom and internet users?

What about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, getting children who need medical assistance to the right hospital, donating to DARE and diabetes, the Ronald McDonald House, AIDs, various adult cancers and heart associations and our local church and missions? Where do these elitists get the brass to ask nonprofits to syphon-off monies given by the “givers” in America?

Did I mention there is a tax in this plan? The report is asking “philanthropic organizations to support local reporting.” That’s where the tax comes in – or fees – to be gathered in some fashion from telecom or internet providers.”

I might not object if a clear definition of “journalism,” and adherence to that definition, must be met to get the nonprofit status. Of course, it all depends on the definition of the trade – like defining what “is is.”

Next will be White House ordered legislation assuring that FOX News is excluded from “nonprofit status.”

I cannot credit this report by linking to it, because the “original source” says I cannot (but never mind, they want me to donate to keep their less-than-honest endeavors alive) but go to and use some keywords and you’ll find it.