From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
I am amazed at the audacity of the FTC or any other government agency that would attempt to control speech just because what is said is adverse to another's viewpoint. I am offended every day by the media who puts forth editorial opinions as journalistic news stories. Does that mean that everyone who disagrees with me should be removed from the media? Of course not. News should be presented without bias or commentary. If one wants to spew his or her opinion, let them call themselves commentators and not journalists. If I don't want to listen to their opionion, I simply don't read or listen to it. There is no reason that a commentator's rhetoric should be considered a public service and therefore does not need to be "balanced" with a contrary position. This would be like demanding that there are equal commercials for Shredded Wheat and Lucky Charms. However, I don't feel that is my obligation as a taxpayer to raise up more of the same. It is my hope that such things as the "Fairness Doctrine" and other attempts to silence opposition on one side or the other are never made into policy. To do so is nothing more than censorship. While I agree that foul language and pornography and excessive violence should be controlled to some extent, I have no objections to those who want to pay for TV channels that allow either or all three or to read whatever kind of book they want to read, etc. I simply do not subscribe to or block any channels that I find offensive and don't purchase books or movies etc that are offensive to me. So if you don't like Christian, Conservative or Liberal programming, don't watch them, but don't prevent others from doing so. What needs to be "watched" in the media is the so called "News" that is being reported that is actually no more than opinion or just plain not true. If I tune into the 6 o'clock news or pick up a newspaper, I want to be assured that I am being told the truth. When Walter Cronkite said "That's the News", you knew it was true to the best of his knowledge. One can no longer trust the media in that way. It is also a ridiculous idea to have taxpayers support the training of "new journalists". If we are to be taxed to train journalists, why not doctors, nurses, plumbers, accountants, attorneys? The government has been too busy bailing out everyone and everything. If there are no journalists and all of the newspapers and news magazines and news programs fail, then new ones will rise up to take their place if needed. The government is not meant to "fix" everything for everyone. If the founding fathers ever thought that the government of the United States would some day own part of an automobile company or a bank or any other enterprise they would "flog" us with their admonitions of how we have corrupted the Constitution and the role of government period. People who attent and support the colleges and universities that teach journalism (and other subjects) need to look at their programs to see if they are actually teaching pure journalism or are padding the studies with the instructor's personal opinion. When I was in college and had an instructor who constantly included his or her opinion as part of our lesson, I and others spoke up and challenged the instructor that we were not paying for our college education to be indoctrinated with his or her personal opinion. Does this still happen? I hope certainly so. Thank you for allowing my lengthy opinion on this subject to be heard. I hope that it is taken into account with the opinions of others.