From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The news media historically performs two primary functions: first, to provide news and information to its customers, and secondly, as a corollary to this first aim, to provide a check on government abuse. In order to do this, the press must remain independent of government control. And, in order to remain in operation, they must also produce a profit - perhaps the only effective means by which their customers, i.e., the citizenry, provide feedback on the quality of their performance of their fundamental role in disseminating information. The proposals contained in the “Reinvention of Journalism” document would subvert this process entirely. One can only assume that this proposal is the result either of thoughtlessness or an intention to suppress competition from media that does not support the government. The “Reinvention of Journalism” is a program that threatens to destroy the traditional role of a free press. It should be rejected out of hand. The means by which information is made available to the citizen will continually evolve in a free media marketplace. The intrusion of the government may or may be intended to favor one faction over another, but it will inevitably have that effect.