From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? #544505-02052

Submission Number:
Andrew Manuse
Manuse Media Company
New Hampshire
Initiative Name:
From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
In the United States, the U.S. Constitution prohibits the federal government from infringing the right to a free press. Thus, it is not the role of the Federal Trade Commission or any government agency to pass any regulation, law or use any public money whatsoever to influence this institution. This is a long-standing American principle that has been upheld by various Supreme Court decisions, but really the plain language and obvious meaning of the First Amendment should be enough for you to recognize that you can't do whatever it is you might consider doing to regulate, tax or influence the press. Journalism is thriving today and many news organizations are making more money than they ever have in the past. Fox News is destroying its competition because it actually tells the truth and reports the news. Its competitors have chosen to be mouthpieces for the Obama Administration, which is why they are failing. This is the same reason why the Wall Street Journal is succeeding while the New York Times is failing. News site aggregators such as the Drudge Report and are succeeding because they highlight news that people want to read. Other sites are failing because they don't. Radio programs such as Glenn Beck's and Rush Limbaugh's make money because they tell the truth and they expose things that are important to people. Other radio shows, such as Alan Colmes show, are failing because the hosts are unfair and lie about the important news of the day. This is simply how the free market works. The government has no authority to prop up companies that have failed by stealing money from companies that have succeeded. This is the height of unfairness and tyranny! What makes your attempt to regulate the press more egregious than other illegal acts--such as the bailout of GM and Chrysler and a host of banks by the federal government--is that the press is specifically off limits from the hand of government: it is protected from any government influence by the First Amendment! Look, I am a journalist with my masters degree in journalism from Boston University. I worked in the field for 10 years. I was laid off by a newspaper that has since gone under. That's OK. The newspaper couldn't afford to pay me what I wanted to make, so I was laid off. Now I'm making a lot less than I was making there. That's OK. I made the choice to ask for more money. But the publisher of that newspaper also made the choice to lay me off, despite the fact that my skill is superb and that I was worth the additional $3,000 a year I was seeking. Because the newspaper replaced me with a sub-par editor, it went under. It's as simple as that. That's how the free market works. People make choices. They decide to do things and then they live with the consequences. It should be no different in the main stream media. If newspapers continue to publish half truths, obfuscations and outright lies that benefit the seated government and the Obama Administration's agenda, they will lose favor with a public that is simply not interested in being lied to by a bunch of propaganda artists. That you now want to force Americans to pay for this propaganda is the height of tyranny. Newspapers that tell the truth and report news that matters to people will continue to succeed, regardless of what you do to them. The people will not be controlled by an obviously corrupt and arbitrary power. I suggest you save us the trouble of having to reverse this nonsense post 2012 and simply abandon any plans whatsoever to regulate, tax or influence the press. Your proposed rule making is a disgrace that more than 70 percent of Americans reject outright. Maybe you should listen this time? Maybe? Again, I reject any attempt by this body to regulate, tax or influence the press. It is unconstitutional and it is wrong in a free society. It will not be accepted. So just don't do it.