September 20, 2012
Mother Jones and Nonprofit Journalism
I find that it is a slow news day in the world of nonprofit law. I have, however, noticed several articles about the role that the nonprofit magazine Mother Jones Journal (which might now go by the shorter name Mother Jones) played in revealing Mitt Romney's comments about the "forty-seven percent" of us who are moochers and slackers. One article in The Nonprofit Quarterly points out that Mother Jones obtained its tax exempt status more than thirty years ago when it was much easier to convince the IRS that (c)(3) status for a journalism outlet was a good idea. As we all know, it has become much harder in recent years because the business models for nonprofit news outlets are so similar to those of for-profits. As others have blogged about, it's an interesting conundrum for the IRS that an entire industry has become so unprofitable that it is in heightened and direct competition with organizations that want to provide the same valuable services as nonprofits.
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