Newspapers go back to Congress looking for relief (again)

Once upon a time, Capitol Hill was teeming with newspapermen looking for the obvious and hidden, so they could inform the American people. Today, the press is still spending plenty of time in Washington -- but for a much different reason. An industry representative sought tax breaks for the newspaper industry on Thursday, citing difficult market conditions and company pension obligations.

John Sturm, president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, was clear when he approached Congress -- the newspaper industry was not interested in a subsidy. This is probably because a bailout request was already denied this year. Rather, Sturm said, the industry is looking for a tax break that would allow newspaper companies to get back taxes they paid on profits over the past decade to offset current losses, according to an Associated Press report. The newspaper companies also want permission to spread out their contributions to employee pension plans.