Pew

39 percent of news nonprofits Pew surveyed "said they favor “some form of government subsidies” to help fund organizations like theirs," Jodi Enda writes. 30 percent opposed taking public money.

"In fact, the notion that the government would subsidize the news business is not new," Enda writes.

As far back as 1792, the federal government granted postal subsidies to news outlets, which for 178 years covered three-quarters of the costs of mailing periodicals, according to a 2010 report by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. The subsidy remains in place but covers only 11% of mailing costs, primarily for magazines, the report said.

Pew published a larger report on news nonprofits Monday. It found that "the 'broader nonprofit culture' is problematic," Rick Edmonds wrote.

Organizations are rewarded by prospective funders and monitoring agencies for spending money on program services rather than business and revenue development.

Still, it remains difficult for news organizations to be certified as nonprofits, a situation a recent report urged the government to address.