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Joint operating agreement resolution adopted by SPJ

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The Society of Professional Journalists passed the following resolution at its 1995 National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

WHEREAS, competition among local newspapers best expresses the "marketplace of ideas" assumption underlying the First Amendment, and

WHEREAS, this competition among local newspapers promotes aggressive and enterprising coverage and a choice of voices, and

WHEREAS, the Newspaper Preservation Act allows the U.S. Attorney General to approve joint operating agreements (JOAs), and

WHEREAS, JOA newspapers in many cities have folded in the past 25 years and others appear to be teetering on the edge of extinction,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 76th convention of the Society of Professional Journalists on the 204th anniversary of the First Amendment calls upon the Justice Department to make public immediately any proposal that would end publication of an existing JOA paper; calls upon the Justice Department to enforce the federal anti-trust laws; and calls upon the Justice Department to disclose any information gathered about JOAs, and hold public hearings where any JOA action is proposed.

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