Washington Post Editor: No Government Bailout of Newspapers

Marcus Brauchli disagrees with his predecessor that the government should bail out newspapers.

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

It seems that even the top staff members at the Washington Post are split on whether the government should step in and do something about the country's sagging newspaper industry. "My gut says no," Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said last night at the National Press Club. "I think it's a live conversation in Washington, and I think, looking at it as an observer, I think newspapers in general have a lot of anxiety about becoming dependent in any way on the government," the Post's top editor added. Brauchli's comments follow those of predecessor Len Downie Jr., who saw some promise in funding news-gathering operations using a National Public Radio-like model. "I think there's a real potential there without in any way changing the relationship between the government and press," Downie said in September. The Washington Post Co.'s newspaper division lost $143 million through the first six months of the year.