From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
This effort--at face value--is like an 1800's transportation office trying to "save" the horse & buggy manufacturers. There are valid business reasons why "journalism" is in trouble, mostly of its own doing. Lean, well-run media organizations and true "journalists" will continue to exist and prosper. If their medium needs to become the internet, due to operational economies, what is wrong with that? I’m sure the horse & buggy makers of old would have loved to be on the public dole—then we could have enjoyed horses and buggies for many, many decades longer! Who needs that pesky combustible engine “iron horse,” anyway? Perhaps we would STILL all be in small, isolated communities in an agrarian economy and unaware of events just miles away (never mind, in other parts of the world!). Nirvana!! Get real! This effort on behalf of the FTC is a thinly veiled move to control information—especially to support press favorable to the administration and to hamper information that challenges the “powers that be.” It is a slippery slope. What the government pays for, the government controls. Do not Russia, Venezuela, Iran, China and other paragons of “free speech” insure the existence of media of choice? I oppose all aspects of this sinister proposal. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The Constitution is clear and it is the law of the land. If Congress is banned from doing anything to abridge (i.e., limit, hamper, deprive, diminish) freedom of speech and freedom of the press, then a bureaucratic office certainly is banned as well. Taxing an information outlet diminishes it—unconstitutional! Using government regulations and taxpayer funds to subsidize an information outlet unduly influences the free flow of ideas and, in effect, “establishes” them as government propaganda arms—unconstitutional!