From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The premise of this workshop is completely off base. I do think it is sad that the "grey ladies" of the country are facing considerable hurdles with the advent of new media. I myself am one of those who choose not to renew my paper subscription to the Chattanooga Times Free Press because I can get the same paper electronically and do not have to worry about taking items to the recycle bin. In an age when media is fed to us on a 24-hour news cycle and comes pretty balanced from such outlets as CNN, MSNBC, FOX, Drude, and others, it is no wonder that when something happens now you can read and learn about it now instead of waiting to read about it the next morning over coffee. It is a transition that is taking place and it cannot be stopped. When the automobile took the place of the horse and cart, it was innovation. When radio was supplanted by television, it was innovation. When the internet took the place of the library, it was innovation. When news websites supplant news papers it is the normal transition in our capitalist society. Looking at some of the intrusions this workshop has suggested with regards to increasing taxes and setting up government run news reporters, it is no wonder that several people should be criticizing these proposals. I for one, will be notifying my congressmen to staunchly oppose this. This violates in my opinion, freedom of the press and the 10th Amendment with regards to controlling items the Federal Government has no business looking into, regardless of good intentions. Your history of Government support of journalism is laughable but may explain why the media is so distrusted (I don't who was polled by the "national poll" of the CPB, but they are not consider balanced) and why you get so many slants on the stories depending on which news organization who get your information from. If you are leaning conservative you feel that FOX News Corp is balanced. If you are from the left leaning persuasion you trust CNN or MSNBC. Either party distrust all the others. Just because there has been a history of government support at the Federal level and that LBJ set up a broadcasting entity, again does not allow that it should happen or be expanded. Expanding the federal influence will do nothing more than allow a pressure to be applied to the news because of funding. We would have a whole bunch of Baghdad Bob's reporting the news to us. Some of your other ideas on protecting the intellectual property of the news articles is applaudable. I think every reporter has a right to his/her work and should be compensated for it. However, I think that is the only tool you have the right to protect. The other items addressed by this workshop are delaying the end. Just has black smiths made way to mechanics, newspapers must make their own ways to find innovative ways to stay profitable. That is the only thing they should do without government intrusion. The idea that print media is "too big to fail" is nothing more than another bailout of people who should not be bailed out. My family members work in print media. They make their living off it and they know what is going on right now. They have seen it all too often and the weekend meeting where their are people who will not be back for the Monday edition. What they learned is that you focus on what sales and continue to find innovative ways to spread the information out through internet or other new media. They find what works, shrink their staffs to fit revenues and find new ways to generate revenues while still holding to their journalistic edicts. If only the government would learn this instead of finding new ways to become indebted while propping up entities that do not want to make the hard choices of changing their game plans.