What would it take to endow a “very healthy newsroom”? Steve Coll, writing in the online edition of The New Yorker, calculates that The Washington Post could run on the proceeds of a $2 billion (US) fund. Coll, commenting on the proposal put forward by David Swensen and Michael Schmidt in The New York Times on January 27, suggests that a fund of that size would provide about $200 million in annual funding, before revenue from advertising, circulation and other (eroding) traditional sources.
And he suggests that perhaps Warren Buffett, a director of the Washington Post Company, might be just the kind of deep-pocketed candidate to kick off the campaign. Given Canada’s relative dearth of Buffett-like funders, perhaps we should take a look at the lottery model: Win a house, save a paper. Operators are standing by.
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