From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The FTC proposal for the "Reinvention of Journalism" would have the effect of stifling information that U. S. citizens are now sharing freely. It would open the door for the government to promote whatever propaganda it wishes to promulgate, without a countering influence. The reality of the 21st century is that electronic media (internet, talk radio, cell phones, etc.) are the new outlets for the news and information that U. S. citizens need. The old print journalism might or might not be able to survive, depending on whether the old-style journalists are able to provide the unbiased news and analysis that citizens need. The "old media" currently are not doing a good job of this, and most Americans are aware of this. That is why citizens must seek other sources for their information. The FTC proposals to tax and otherwise regulate the new media and new-style journalistic outlets, while subsidizing the old-style print media and practicioners, are completely out of line with the time-honored U.S. principle of "freedom of the press." The government must stay out of this technological shift and allow the marketplace to do its work of providing news and information to the country's citizens in whichever format the citizens need and want. Anything other than this will lead to government control of the news and information that is the right of free citizens. Tyrannical governments such as the old Soviet Union and more modern dictatorships control the news and information that their citizens receive. Such control in the United States is completely out of the question. I respectfully request that the FTC drop this idea permanently.