Government Looks to 'Control'… Ummmm… 'Save' Old Media
For all those people out there who don’t understand what Barack Obama and his left-wing cohorts want to do to this country, just look at what has happened so far. Through various legislation and actions, Obama’s government has gained partial control of the banking industry, finance, automobile production, energy, and, of course, health care. The whole idea is control… the more the government owns, the more it controls, and the less freedom the American people have. So, it should come as no surprise that Obama’s socialist administration has set its focus on the media. In an effort to “save” old media, the administation is proposing a set of “guidelines” that would put the government in more control of the “news” that is delivered to the people. If this doesn’t smack of “thought police,” I don’t know what does.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a “discussion draft” of what it calls Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism. I didn’t realize that journalism (real journalism, that is) needed to be “reinvented,” but leave it to Obama’s government to propose “solutions” where there are no problems.
The document is based on the struggling newspaper industry. I guess it doesn’t matter that other forms of media are booming, but because newspapers are starting to go into debt and fail, then the government must step in. Hello! It’s 2010, not 1955! The report notes that advertising revenue from newspapers has fallen “approximately 45% since 2000. For example, classified advertising accounted for $19.6 billion in revenue for newspapers in 2000, $10.2 billion in 2008, and is estimated to be only $6.0 billion in 2009.”
So… what is the government proposing to save newspapers? Answer: a whole host of initiatives paid for by you and me which would give the government more control in what “news” is delivered to the people. As noted in a story on FoxNews.com, here are some of the proposals laid out in the “reinventing journalism” document:
— the creation of a “journalism” division of AmeriCorps, the federal program that places 75,000 people with local and national nonprofit groups annually;
— tax credits to news organizations for every journalist employed;
— establishing citizenship news vouchers, which “would allow every American tax payer to allocate some amount of government funds to the non-profit media organization” of their choice;
— increased funding for public radio and television;
— providing grants to universities to conduct investigative journalism;
— increased postal subsidies for newspapers and periodicals;
— a 5 percent tax on consumer electronics, which would generate roughly $4 billion annually, to pay for increased public funding.
Sounds typical, doesn’t it? Newspapers are struggling, so let’s pay for even more “public” radio and television. It’s funny (not really) that “public” radio and television actually means government radio and television. Let’s pay their postage. Let’s pay liberal universities to conduct investigative journalism??? That one is really nuts. And of course, the whole idea of creating a journalism division within AmeriCorps would only lead to the government getting exactly the kind of journalists it wants.
Journalism is a JOB!! If there is not a demand for it, then there will be fewer journalists. The government should back-off, and keep it’s hands out of it. In addition, the more the government moves into the journalism industry, the more our free speech rights are at risk:
“I find it dangerous for government to have a role in speech because the government gives and the government taketh away,” Jeff Jarvis, an associate professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, told FoxNews.com.
“Most of the ideas examined in this are politically untenable,” Jarvis said. “The problem with this is that the FTC is trying to set an agenda here, that some sort of government intervention is necessary. It’s a power grab by the FTC and it’s also an example of one old power structure circling its wagons around another.”
Raise your hand if you think conservative talk radio will get funding? I thought so.