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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Here it comes: nationalizing of newspapers

Remember how years ago we used to laugh at Pravda, the government-run newspaper of the Soviet Union? It would only print whatever news that the state deemed fit... and only with whatever spin that the Communist Party wanted it to have.

Here's one more reason why the United States will soon have to owe the old Soviets an apology: there's now a bill in Congress to "bail out" the struggling newspaper industry. If it becomes legislation, print news companies that accept government aid will be restructured as nonprofit, and will be banned from making political endorsements (very much like how churches are granted nonprofit status so long as their ministers don't endorse candidates).

What the hell is happening to this country? I mean... government-managed newspapers?!?

Hey, I've worked in the newspaper industry. As a reporter. Twice. And there are a lot of reasons why newspapers are dying. And almost all of 'em are the fault of the newspapers themselves. They've failed to keep up with modern technology, in a time when ever-increasing numbers of people are turning to the Internet for their information. And what was the biggest reason why that has happened?

Because I hate to say this, but too much of the newspaper industry has grown spoiled and complacent. The alleged "bias" that a lot of people ascribe to traditional journalism? I honestly don't know if it's political favoritism as much as it is that the age of the hard-nosed investigative reporter for "the big daily paper" has come and gone. Too many reporters don't want to work hard for the story. They want it given to them pre-digested, without the risk of asking the serious questions.

So lemme be succinct: if newspapers are dying, let 'em die.

They more than earned it. The newspapers no more deserve our money to stay afloat than do the auto companies or the investment firms.

Besides, does anyone really want the federal government managing the funny pages? I sure as hell don't.


Anonymous said...

Just what this world needs . . . a few more dinosaurs waiting around for the next big asteroid. As da' buzzard said, " . . . the Lord will provide."

Ol' You-Know-Who, or is it "Tim"?

Religious Review said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Reagan must be twirling in his grave.

Kevin Bussey said...

How can a govt newspaper criticize itself?

Anonymous said...

Obviously this goes against the principals upon which our republic was founded.

However on a pracitical basis, government takeover of the major newspapers will make little difference. They've been owned by the government for decades anyway.

Anonymous said...

I love the way a congressional bill with no co-sponsors and no interest turns into the "government taking over the newspapers" on this blog. Maybe one of you should start mixing up the Kool Aid.

Anonymous said...

Evil Government & Drama

Chris Knight said...

And it's not really clear who wrote the PATRIOT Act either. But there it was, ready to go into law. You really think something that big gets written overnight?

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that someone in the administration is secretly writing a bill to take over newspapers? It's a stretch to compare the Patriot Act, which was obviously crafted by the administration and then presented to congress, with a one-senator bill with no present support. At least wait until it gathers some steam before you ride the countryside on your horse.

Chris Knight said...

As far as I'm concerned, nationalizing an industry is the same whether it's seized by force, or it's enticed to come under the government umbrella with "incentives".

The result is still going to be the same. And on the same grounds, neither would result in a newspaper that could be trusted to report about the government as objectively as possible.