From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
I do not believe that the FTC should approve of any measures to support and lower the costs of journalism. I believe that the internet is a reflection of the free market and of the interests of consumers. Consumers should drive changes in journalism. When the movie theatre industry was faced with the ability of people to watch movies at home, they were equally alarmed at the changes and prospect that consumers would no longer go to theatres to watch movies. The movie theatre industry was not propped up by the government. It adjusted to free market changes and evolved to a point where today movies like Avatar, that can only really be fully experienced at a theatre, draws huge crowds and are very profitable. The movie theatre industry evolved and came through strong and profitable. This is similar to journalism in that they are both forced to change because of advancements in technology and consumer spending. If the government props up journalism it will not evolve and find ways to become profitable again and will not develop ways to be self-supporting. In addition there are real dangers to state supported media. The government should not be in the business of supporting a dying industry and especially one that can effect the way it is perceived. Right now mainstream journalism tends to lean left as do our elected officials. Propping up journalism will benefit the left. What happens when our elected officials lean to the right, will they choose to support journalist sources that lean to the right? It seems very self serving of our current government to decide to prop up journalism, but it could be used to the advantage of more conservative government as well. In summary, I believe that journalism needs to evolve and reflect the interests of consumers. Any government involvement will disrupt that process and could create a level of government bias in the media. We should not pursue the proposals which you are considering. Thank you!