Senator John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the communications subcommittee, has scheduled his first hearing as chairman on the future of journalism and the "issues that threaten today's news media." It will be May 6 at 2:30 p.m.
There is no witness list yet, but from Kerry's statement, it appears to focus on newspapers. "The history of our Republic is inextricably linked to the narrative of our free and independent press," he said in announcing the hearing. "Yet today, America’s newspapers are struggling just to stay afloat. I called this hearing to directly address a problem that for too long has had us turning the other way. Whatever the model for the future, we must do all we can to ensure a diverse and independent news media endures.”
But the announcement said it will address "the economic recession's impact on media," so broadcasters may well be included given that the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rule was at one time the subject of much congressional action.
Newspapers are getting plenty of attention on the Hill given the almost daily reports of cutbacks and shutdowns.
On Tuesday (April 21), the Subcommitee on Courts and Competition and the Internet is holding a hearing -- A New Age of Newspapers: Diversity of Voices, Competition and the Internet.