From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? #544505-03018

Submission Number:
Jack Stuart
North Carolina
Initiative Name:
From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
Americans have always had a multiplicity of news sources, albeit not necessarily the specific news they wanted, when they wanted. That is still true. Yes, many details have changed. But the reality hasn't. Growing up in the 60s, our family's principle news source was the radio. For other people it was the TV. The newspaper came out the next day, but was printed in the middle of the night, so what we heard on the radio, and others heard on the TV was more up to date, and if inacurate, was quickly updated. The mistakes in the paper weren't fixed (barring picky details in the corrections section). How many people today rely on the newspaper as their principle news source? And how much of that is due to the paper's often obvious, sometimes explicit bias? For many people, Item 18 (on page 5 of your 47 page draft) is of little consequence. Papers (and other businesses) have always died out, and are replaced by other papers. The replacement grows larger, and then folds under its own inertia. There are lots of small papers that would like to become large papers, but won't if the measures covered in the draft take effect. In the meantime more people will use as an excuse for dropping the (currently) large paper, the perceived bias they see in it. On the other hand, news outlets are growing very quickly in non-traditional forms. How many online news sources did you regularly read thirty years ago (say, before 1980)? It appears that journalism is already reinventing itself quite nicely without the FTCs interference and violations of the first amendment. I don't see a single substantive suggestion in the draft that I would consider acceptable, because all the substantive suggestions will hurt the patient (and the average person) more than the perceived problem (directly and indirectly).