From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? #544505-00270

Submission Number:
Gary Noerenberg
Initiative Name:
From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
I am opposed to any effort on the part of the FTC to restrict or control the content of radio stations. I am opposed to the attempt to the reinstitution of the so-called 'Fairness Doctrine' or similar programs referred to as 'localism', 'diversity in ownership' and even the so-called 'net-neutrality’ pertaining to the Internet. The FTC should only be concerned that the airwaves are being used to broadcast program content that adheres to "community standards". As long as the broadcast content is not obscene, lewd or otherwise offensive, the stations will be judged and their listening audience will disappear if the content is not of interest. As listeners depart from the stations, their advertisers will depart and the station will be forced to change content or go out of business. The government and the FTC have no business dictating content beyond what I stated previously. The press, and I include radio, TV and even the Internet to a degree, is suppose to be independent of government control and is to actually monitor what the government is doing and to inform the citizenship of those activities so they can be informed. If there is a problem that needs to be addressed in our current environment, it is that the so-called "mainstream media" (I include ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, FOX news, etc. as examples) is so biased with a liberal point of view that one cannot get an objective look at the current events. Biased reporting is a major concern, but the total lack of coverage is also an issue. The coverage they give amounts to a blackout or cover-up that can only be exposed by other sources of news. It is my opinion that FOX does the best job of being balanced in their reporting on issues and frequently broadcast controversial issues before the other major news outlets. The opportunity to find varying viewpoints is available to all. We do not need government interference to force independent businesses to carry a prescribed format or mix of content; that is not the job of the FTC or other government agencies. If people are upset with the content of a show and feel it doesn't present a viewpoint, or set of viewpoints, that they want to hear, they have the full freedom to turn it off or to turn on another program or call that one and complain. No one has the right to not be offended, but everyone has the right to express their opinion on any subject without having to fear that the 'strong arm of the government' will descend on them. Again, I am opposed to any action in this area by the FTC or other agency. The free market system we have now is the best way to serve the people of this great country.