Friday, 12 June 2009

L3Cs for Canada?

If Canada has anything comparable to the L3C - low-profit, limited-liability corporations - in the United States, bring it on.

Ryan Blethen, in a Seattle Times editorial column, says L3C regulations available in some U.S. states could lead to a revival of independent, locally-owned community newspapers.

"For nearly 40 years, newspapers have been acquired by publicly traded corporations or ever-expanding privately held, but highly leveraged, companies," he writes. "The inexorable, greed-fueled feast might finally be coming to an end.

"An industry-transforming recession has exposed the decay of decades of corporate and profit-driven newspaper ownership."

He says the U.S. L3C "might be the perfect pairing for journalism and business. It would permit a company to act as a nonprofit and attract investors but allow for modest earnings.

"Even better, the overriding reason for an L3C is the public role it endows. This is a model made for the mission of newspapers."

Blethen goes into more detail about L3Cs and their potential to preserve journalism based on principles, not profit.

Most newspaper people we have known since the 1960s didn't get into journalism to make a million. Some did, but the majority just wanted to do their jobs as best they could and try to make a difference in the community while earning a decent wage.

Pride and dignity, two things Quebecor has hijacked from Sun Media employees in the past decade, could be revived by an unloading of properties to people who truly care about journalism.

1 comment:

  1. Local ownership would be the greatest thing ever for Sun Media's small dailies and weeklies.
    Corporate ownership has been a failure of epic proportions.