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Murdoch, Huffington on Future-of-Journalism Panel

To participate in FTC workshop on the ailing fields of news and reporting.

If there were any doubts about whether a December workshop of the Federal Trade Commission on the future of journalism was going to get serious attention from the media industry, they ended Monday with the release of a listing of participants.

Slated for the two-day event, beginning Dec. 1: News Corp. chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson, Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post, former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie, former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Paul Steiger (now president and CEO of Pro Publica) and executives of Google and Yahoo.

The FTC announced plans for the workshop this past summer as a part of areexamination of the new economics in the media marketplace and how they affect news and reporting

The workshop will consider, “a wide range of issues, including: the economics of journalism in print and online; the wide variety of new business and non-profit models for journalism online; factors relevant to the new economic realities for news organizations, such as behavioral and other targeted online advertising, online news aggregators, and bloggers; and the ways in which the costs of journalism could be reduced without reducing quality,” the commission said in a statement.

Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in an earlier interview with TheWrap  that he hopes the workshop will examine how the government should deal with changes in the economics and technology of journalism. The FTC shares anti-trust enforcement with the Justice Department and reviews media deals.