Columbia Journalism Review‘s Ryan Chittum has an interesting piece about the glacial pace non-profit news orgs are seeing their tax exempt status considered by the IRS.
A few examples:
[San Francisco Public Press] doesn’t accept advertising. It’s run by volunteers and has no salaried employees. It covers local public policy issues and eschews sports, entertainment news, and restaurant reviews. It loses money and is subsidized by donations and foundation grants.
But the IRS got the paper’s application nearly two years ago and still hasn’t given it an answer….
As Steve Beatty, managing editor of New Orleans investigative startup The Lens, which applied more than a year ago, puts it, “We’ve been told our application will be reviewed up to the right hand of God.”
Meanwhile, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas recently had its application approved. This despite O’Keefe picking pleading guilty to a misdemeanor while on the job, for entering Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, pretending to be a phone company employee.
Worth reading Chittum’s explanation for the IRS non-profit conundrum in full.