From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
More Taxes? Really? It appears to me that if a private business makes poor decisions and enters unwisely into a debt that it cannot repay, that business should have to restructure its debt or close its doors like any other business. If "journalism" companies are failing and are unable to attract advertising dollars, it is not due to a lack of available consumers. It IS due to a lack consumers "tuning in" to consume THEIR product. It seems reasonable to me that, like any business, they have a clear course of action; they can adapt their product to the market or fail. "Journalism" companies ( FYI quotes = derision) that fail to adapt and continue to put out a product that insufficient numbers of people find attractive are NOT entitled to my support through some cooked up taxation scheme. If I had wanted to support their business, I would have given them my money VOLUNTARILY. For all you bureaucrats out there, that is called a purchase. By not purchasing the "journalism" that is being offered, I am sending the loudest possible message to the company, "I don't like your product and I won't buy it until you make it good enough to earn my money." In these times, that means that people like me are careful to NOT click on websites like the cookie cutter "journalism companies of NY Times, Newsweek, ABC "news", CBS "news", CNN "news", NBC "news", etc... (they know who they are and so do you). Furthermore I avoid watching most televised "news" so that I never see the advertisers who are propping them up. I do choose to get my news from outlets that report real news and appear to be less ideologically slanted. As an educated comsumer I ask that you do not try to "even the playing field" in anyone's favor but allow the free market forces of the nation to prevail. (It might be worth noting here that for decades the playing field was slanted in favor of "Big Journalism" and they grew fat, lazy, and openly biased.) We Americans are smart enough to choose what we want, support what we want, and pay for what we want. Do not attempt to tell me what I want or force me to pay for something that I explicitely do NOT want. In closing, let me be clear that I am opposed to more government involvement in most areas but especially in the area of journalism. I oppose any new taxes on news aggregators. I oppose a taxpayer funded "bailout" of failed journalism companies. I oppose the addition of taxes on consumer electronics. I oppose further taxation of cell phones, televisions, and radios for any reason. I oppose ANY government bureacracy involvement(AmeriCorps) in the training of new "journalists".