Facebook needs news. So why shouldn’t it pay for it?

Peter Preston in The Guardian says “Advertising is falling. Paywalls push readers away. But a big endowment from the tech moguls, to be shared among all papers, could work in everyone’s interests“.

I’m sure a big endowment would be welcomed by journalists but rather than bankroll newspaper proprietors like MurdochDesmondHarmsworth and the Barclay brothers, I’d like to see an analysis of the public good journalism claims to do.  Can we even agree on a definition?

What would be on the list?  The Sunday Times campaign about thalidomide birth defects is the one always mentioned.  The Daily Mail’s coverage of Stephen Lawrence is another (curious, though, that Lawrence’s dad did some decorating work for Dacre).  But what else?  Once we have a definition, we roughly cost it. And see how it might otherwise be produced.

Related: Support new news providers via a levy on digital giants like Google and Facebook.