From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
To whom it may concern: ["From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?"] I'm deeply troubled not so much by the above question, but by who's asking it. In a free country, built upon free markets and predicated on a free and independent press, why on earth is the federal government even asking such a question? To quote from the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Clearly, any government effort to subsidize the press will, of necessity, abridge its freedom. How? By making the press think twice before biting the hand that feeds it. Human nature suggests that news organizations will be less likely to report freely and objectively on matters concerning the guarantor of their financial survival. And they'll be less likely to employ columnists and editorial writers who might be critical of the policies of a particular presidential administration or Congress. It's bad enough when the federal government intrudes into free markets, picks winners and losers, and heaps billion of dollars of debt upon the taxpayers to artificially prop up, for example, a struggling automobile industry. But this FTC endeavor is far more onerous, for it seeks to tamper with and subsidize an industry whose freedom and independence from the government is utterly ESSENTIAL to its proper place in a free and healthy society. Again: In a free country, driven by free markets and predicated on a free and independent press, why on earth is the FTC even asking such a question? Whether and how journalism survives "the Internet Age" is, with all due respect, none of the government's G*d damned business. Thank you for your consideration.