From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
In considering all of these regulations, THE most important thing is to follow the Constitution's 1st Amenendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Yes, newspapers do need to have a new look at how to generate revenue,and copyright laws do need to be looked at, but newspapers will have to become more innovative, and not rely on government help or funding. In reading the Staff Discussion Draft, I see many proposals that lead towards more taxation and the possibility of more government control over our free speech rights. Another tax on cell phone use? That one will not go over with there already being numerous nickel and dime-ing taxes added on to cell phone plans. If US postal subsidies to newspapers and periodicals are increased, it will add a greater burden to the already financially struggling Postal system. The Postal system is already talking about cutting Saturday service because of lack of funding. How can they be viable by taking cuts in the prices they charge? Whenever the government subsidizes an organization, there are always requirements that come with it, so it would be an easy step for the government to limit the news organization to report only what the government wants it to report. That is not free speech. The IRS laws on tax exempt news organizations seems to be very clear already. Further rulings and clarifications will be a step towards government control over tax exempt organizations and limiting free speech and the establishment of religious practices. Please don't undermine our already unstable economy by imposing more taxation and please don't take away our right to free speech which makes America the great country it has been. Government doesn't have to solve every business's problems. This is a newspaper/journalist problem, not the government's. Thank you for reading this and allowing us to express our concerns.