From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
I own a bookstores. Bookstores face many of the same technological changes besetting journalism. We struggle daily to keep abreast of these changes and remain profitable. While I desparately hope that we are able to adapt and survive, I trust the marketplace to sort that out. I expect no one to come to my aid. I have no doubt that "books" will survive in some form whether my store survives or not. The same should apply to journalism. Old forms of journalism simply have not kept pace with the marketplace in which they exist. The book "The Power of Pull" gives an excellent description of how technological advancements have changed the way people want to receive their news. Demands have changed; the suppliers must respond. The days of newspapers and magazines have passed. It is not the role of government to choose failing industries and prop them up against changing market conditions. It certainly is not the role of government to tax innovative, successful players to support those who have failed to keep pace. Journalism will survive quite well without the intervention of the FTC. Please let the market do its job so that journalism will evolve the way that best serves all the people. Should you decide to intervene in journalism by taxing those who are successfully utilizing new media and subsidizing old media in various ways, then please move on to the book industry next. You can tax the stew out of Amazon (who currently benefits from no sales tax on the internet), put a surtax an all ebooks and audio books which are downloaded and give large tax breaks and incentives to brick and mortar bookstores. The bookstore is an American institution which deserves preservation every bit as much as any Times or Post.