Both the federal trade and communications commissions are studying how Uncle Sam can help the flagging news business. But while federal subsidies may be coming, state support for journalism is on the wane. The clearest example is public television, which relies on a mix of federal, local, and private funding to fulfill a mandate of news and educational programming. Federal sources have not slowed in recent years, but state support dropped sharply in 2009, according to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which puts the damage at $36 million nationwide. This year, more than half the states are expected to make further cuts, with public-affairs coverage often taking the hardest hit.