From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
This is just really absurd. More absurd nonsense from an otherwise on point government. Why is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposing to tax the American public to support the failing newspaper/mass media industry? As a recent FTC policy brief floats around the blogosphere to support the "reinvention" of journalism, I'm left scratching my head to figure out how anyone could think this is a good idea. I would agree that the journalism industry is in need of a significant transformation. But, this policy brief is NOT about changing the status quo. It is about maintaining it. If you've spent some time looking at the news on a regular basis, then you will notice something amiss. More and more of the news Americans are fed on a daily basis is of the "junk" variety type. I'm talking about sensationalized and entertaining news. Definitely not the type of news informed citizens should view. Where was the news media before the Gulf oil spill when legislation and policy was decided to allow offshore drilling? What about coverage of current legislation? Why is it that C-span is where you get the in-depth coverage of U.S. legislation but not the "alphabet soup" news group? I'll tell you why. Those mass media outlets are there to sell a product. It's the "junk" news format consisting of celebrity gossip, sex scandals, violent crime, cowering in fear from a bad economy meant to divert public attention away the truth. The truth is that legislative decisions are being made without the republic's awareness of such issues. Who is really controlling the agenda? Oh, did I even mention that more of those crappy newspapers that most Americans don't want to buy in the first place are concentrated in the hands of a few media elitists as a result of mergers. Right now, a proposed merger of NBC/Comcast awaits a rubber stamped approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Yet, most people barely heard a word about the ramifications of such an approval. Good journalism is supposed to include a variety of perspectives. What you get from the alphabet soup gang's "junk" news format is the perspective of the powerful and how you are supposed to fit yourself in to your "lowly" position in relation to them. With these policies to support that type of journalism, we can expect an even more skewed viewpoint from the "junk" news conglomerate. So, the FTC/FCC proposes to subsidize elite control of the communications channels Americans access to keep us ignorant and powerless. Gee, what's next? A complete take over of the Internet by pushing entrepreneurial journalism a.k.a. citizen media to the margins? What were you thinking, FTC? Most Americans don't particularly trust mass media to be objective. And, then you want to tax us for this crap. Take a look at the Rasmussen poll. At least 74% of Americans oppose taxing the Internet news sites to subsidize the news industry (See Rasmussen Poll: 74% Oppose Taxing Internet Sites). I would also say that I don't approve of extending copyright protection to protect "hot news" doctrine. What about the blogger whose news story was stolen by the AP and other "bona fide, professional" journalists without attribution. I remember seeing his tweet complaining about how he was disenfranchised because he went through great expense to uncover a news story and the "alphabet" media stole his story right from underneath him (See Danny Sullivan, How The Mainstream Media Stole Our News Story Without Credit). What are you going to do to protect the REST of US?