From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
We are very concerned about the "Reinventing Journalism” document that is under discussion. We feel this is an effort to censor and tax conservative speech and our free speech rights in general. Also, to have government involved in sponsoring journalism financially and otherwise through use of tax payers money is dangerously approaching a conflict of interest scenario. Journalism success or failure in the open market system should be determined by the support or interest of the public, not by government agencies. Government administrations can get their messages out through press conferences and open dialog and then let the public decide who is speaking truth or putting a propagandist spin on it. We are already having to tolerate government sponsored NPR whose programming choices and venues often appear to us weighted towards attitudes and philosophies we find unappealing. The advent of internet commentary has given the "common man" a venue for expression and investigation so that we do not have to be held hostage by the major news outlets. Lots of misinformation occurs, to be sure, but at least there is not a monopoly on misinformation, and we have more freedom to pursue truth. Having lived in Beijing,China for a time, we have seen first hand the results of having the government so closely "involved" with journalism and the internet. Please do not go down that road here!