Yale ISP, Reuters Institute Release Report on Nonprofit Journalism
A joint report exploring the ways in which legal and political frameworks can help or hinder new forms of developing journalism was published on March 23, 2016. The report, led by the Reuters Institute at University of Oxford and the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, examines the impact of national charity and tax laws and regulation on efforts to establish and operate not-for-profit news organizations. It focuses on the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, and Ireland, all developed countries with Anglo-based legal systems.
“This report contributes to the evolving debate on not-for-profit news start-ups. It examines legal systems that determine whether charitable and tax exempt status and a variety of benefits associated with them can be granted,” said Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Executive Director and Research Scholar at the Yale Information Society Project. This analysis compares and contrasts policies, and assesses how such policies affect both the development of startups and existing news organizations that would like to become charities and gain tax-exempt status. It also provides an overview of regulation practices in an attempt to tackle legal and societal challenges that need to be addressed.
“As the business of news gets harder and harder, it becomes more and more important to explore alternative models, including charitable funding, non-profits, and foundations, and the ways in which legal and political frameworks help or hinder new forms of journalism developing,” said Rasmus Nielsen, Director of Research at the Reuters Institute at University of Oxford. “This report takes an important step forward in our understanding of these important issues.”
This report also summarizes the issues raised by the respective countries to evaluate the potential for not-for-profit news. It explores how it may be possible for startups and existing news organizations to become charities and gain tax-exempt status.
The goal of the report is to gain a better understanding of the legal settings for charitable and tax exempt status for news organizations and challenges that may hinder their development, according to the authors. For more information on the report, click here.
The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School is an intellectual center that explores the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society. The ISP is guided by the values of democracy, development, and civil liberties. You can follow the ISP on Twitter @yaleisp.
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism marks the University of Oxford’s commitment to creating an international research center in the comparative study of journalism. It brings the depth and rigor of academic scholarship of the highest standards to major issues of relevance to the world of news media. It is global in its perspective and in the content of its activities.