From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
Federal Trade Commission To Whom It May Concern: I recently reviewed your plans for the "Reinvention of Journalism" and the numerous tax increase proposals (at least five increases) it set forth. I am also aware of today's FTC meeting at the National Press Club in DC with an agenda to explore how the Internet has affected journalism. My concern is that your organization appears to be in denial concerning the fact that the Internet has already changed the world and those who refuse to embrace this change will become victims of change. Rather than assisting the journalism industry in their futile attempts to stem the inevitable tide of change and hang on to (or prop up) the failing media models of the 20th century, perhaps the FTC and other related governmental agencies should serve this industry by 1) warning/updating them as to the unprecedented changes occurring in the media/journalism industries, 2) encourage the industry to embrace these changes, 3) recognize and promote innovative solutions, trends, and ideas, and 4) offer tax incentives to those who invest in the technology of the future. Much like the horse drawn carriage industry of the early 1900's when confronted with the unprecedented changes brought by the advent of the automobile, the traditional venues for the distribution and consumption of news, advertising, and information (i.e. the mass media and journalism industries) have suddenly and unexpectedly become outdated and are rapidly on their way to becoming obsolete. I implore you to help these industries with a wake up call to transformative change. Propping up and throwing money at an infrastructure that can no longer support itself is an exercise in futility. And hanging on to nostalgic memories of "the way we were" is a recipe for disaster in any industry. Respectfully, Curtis S. Jones