From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The fact that this would be another step in controlling free speech is grounds enough to oppose it, but I oppose it for two specific reasons: 1. Any tax-based control of free speech is dangerous. He who controls the organization (be it AmeriCorps or any other entity) controls the information released——plain and simple; any intelligent person knows that. It would not be acceptable if conservatives proposed it, and it is certainly not acceptable now. 2. The "Journalistic Bailout" clearly shows just how out of step various media outlets truly are. Many average citizens are far more informed than the "educated" journalists trained to report the news in the first place. Ratings and subscriptions are down for numerous news outlets. Why is that? They've either demonstrated themselves to be untrustworthy, biased or irrelevant, none of which deserves a special fund to pay their salaries. The modern information market has become surprisingly good at weeding out (or at least exposing) untruths and corruption when they occur. Any attempt to federally fund news reporting outlets, be they newspapers, cable news, blogs, etc., will ensure that news reported is controlled by the administration in charge, and it opens the door quite widely for the repression of thoughts, ideas and news that oppose those in power.