News industry analysts say New Hampshire’s decision to guarantee a line of credit for the Eagle Times newspaper is a first, but probably won’t be the last example of government help for newspapers struggling with an unprecedented decline in their advertising revenue.
The state agreed last week to guarantee 75% of a $250,000 line of credit to the Eagle Times of Claremont, which emerged from bankruptcy under new ownership last month. Several news industry experts say while a few other states have explored similar deals, none have gone through with it.
Some believe such aid may make readers question a newspaper’s independence. But Eagle Times publisher Harry Hartman said Wednesday that the newspaper hasn’t used the line of credit and is not beholden to anyone.