Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Joint Operating Agreements
Kyu Ho Youm
A joint operating agreement (JOA) in the United States is a contract that allows competing daily newspapers in the same market to share their production and distribution facilities while keeping their reportorial and editorial functions separate and independent. JOAs are designed to ensure a diversity of information and opinion by maintaining head-to-head competition between daily newspapers amid an ever-increasing number of one-newspaper towns. This stands in marked contrast with many industrialized countries in Europe and Asia, which rarely recognize such government-sanctioned arrangement for newspapers. JOAs are granted under the Newspaper Preservation Act (NPA). Since Congress passed the NPA in 1970, 28 JOAs have been approved. But JOAs have not been a success story. Each year, there are fewer JOAs and fewer cities with competing newspapers. The JOA is often perceived as a relatively new development in the American newspaper industry, though it is more than 70 years old. The Depression ...