From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? #544505-02340

Submission Number:
Fred Bassette
New York
Initiative Name:
From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
I understand that legislation is being considered to "Reinvent Journalism". As a fundamental right in this country, the press, whether paper or electronic, must be very very free from governmental control. Yes, this means that there will be everything from factual articles to opinionated editorials to 'letters to the editor' that have little basis in fact, to Internet blogs that span the range from solid truths to bold-faced lies and distortions. This has been true for over 200 years in a paper oriented news world. It should remain the same in the Internet/e-mail/cable TV/etc age. If the government starts trying to control/decide what should and should not be 'allowed' in various media, beyond some basic limits of decency (i.e pornography, illegal acts, indecency), then we are at great risks of becoming like other dictator run countries. There is a real reason for the freedom of speech items in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Those who wrote those documents had suffered under oppressive governments in Europe and elsewhere. WE DO NOT NEED TO GO BACK TO THAT TYPE OF GOVERNMENT!!! Americans have a thirst for knowledge that has supported journalism since before our founding. It will continue. It may change formats, that is good. It may look and feel different and it may employ different people. These are good. Government intervention will end the fundamental core of journalism. It Must Be Free. It is only free if it takes no government money. You have a choice. Follow every communist country in history, or follow the US example. Leave journalism alone. Don't help them. Don't hurt them.