In the Op-Ed section of today's New York Times, David Swensen and Michael Schmidt propose a way to save newspapers. Their solution is to convert newspapers in to endowed institutions like universities.
This isn't the first time I have heard this type of proposed solution. Pepe Baeza, the photo editor of the Magazine of La Vanguardia in Barcelona, Spain has also often talked of a government funded model, much like the BBC.
This current solution is an interesting one in that it would provide funding for news retrieval and an independence from the powers that want to influence the media, including the government.
The problem is that I can only see it working in the U.S. where there is more of a tradition of endowed institutions. It's worth some thought but how would they transition a corporation like the New York Times in to just such an entity and what would shareholders have to say about it?
I don't even want to know.
You can find the article here.