From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
This effort by the FCC to curtail free speech through federal government involvement is outrageous. The founders of our nation died for a free press as will as freedom from government interference in religion. The 18th and 19th century press was vicious in it use of opinion, commercial interests, and political vitriol. In the 20th century the press was tamed by statist interests. Witness the left leaning nature of PBS/CPB. The internet and talk radio have returned news gathering and dispensing to a free market of ideas in keeping with the principals of the U.S. Constitution. The "Reinvention of Journalism" paper amounts to federal government take over of the news business. With taxes on ordinary citizens to bail out outmoded forms of communication, the government becomes a "patron" of the news. It is a short movement from "patron" to "controller." As I read the paper, I noticed the underlying assumption that the private sector cannot come up with a sustainable "business model" for an internet age. Therefore the federal government must step in and bring about solutions. These solutions include bailing established media (newspapers, network TV) at the expense of new media. This is like requiring DVD users to bail out the VCR industry. I submit that free market forces will solve this problem as it has solved many others. It must be given the chance to work without government interference. The problem for the FCC, and the current federal administration, is that the solutions by the free market will not allow their power to grow.