From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The Constitution of the United States expressly says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” If congress is forbidden to make any such law, then any other agency of our government or any other agency outside our government must be forbidden also. A proposed law or regulation taxing the dissemination of information would allow the selling of journalistic space to the select few who could afford it and would give an unfair advantage to government supported, sponsored or favored journalists or media conglomerates. Taxing the dissemination of information in one media form to pay for or prop up the dissemination of information in another media form is discriminatory and should be unlawful. The free market should determine what journalistic media types endure, not the government. The free market of ideas should remain free and unfettered by government agencies and regulations so true journalism can survive. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines journalism as follows: 1 a : the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media b : the public press c : an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium 2 a : writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation c : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest. Taxing the dissemination of information supports definition 1a and 2a. But journalism can and does exist outside of traditional news papers and magazines. If newspaper and magazines cannot complete with new types of information media, they should not be artificially kept afloat by government funding. The funding being taken from the very tax payers who have forsaken the traditional magazines, news papers, radio programs and television news no longer reflecting their values, ethics, cultures or beliefs. Journalists directly or indirectly supported by taxation of other media forms will necessarily be biased by the government hand feeding them. Those journalists not supported by taxation will be burdened with paying for presenting their ideas and thoughts while being forced to financially support possible opposing views. Do not propose or support any laws or regulations taxing the dissemination of information in any form.