FCC Considers Propping Up Old School Journalism, As Copps Blames The Internet And Bloggers
from the say-what-now? dept
Citizen Media Law alerts us to a rather troubling “state of the media journalism” report issued by FCC commissioner Michael Copps. While the report doesn’t really mean anything right now, it’s seen as an indicator of where the FCC may go in its rule-making process. And if that’s the case, it’s quite troubling, though the old school newspaper folks screaming for protection may find it comforting. Basically, it focuses on “the decline of traditional print and broadcast outlets” and seems to blame the combination of “the internet and bloggers” with the deregulation of media ownership.
This makes almost no sense, and is, in fact, contradictory. The rise of “the internet and bloggers” has massively increased the diversity of people involved in reporting and distributing the news. The barriers of entry to being a journalist have been lowered to almost nothing at all, and people have flooded the market. Copps views that as a problem, but apparently doesn’t note the total contradiction in then immediately lamenting the decrease in diversity of journalists in traditional media jobs:
“We’re not only losing journalists, we may be losing journalism,” he said. “Some blame the Internet and bloggers, and that’s certainly a part of the story. All that consolidation and mindless deregulation, rather than reviving the news business, condemned us to less real news, less serious political coverage, less diversity of opinion, less minority and female ownership, less investigative journalism and fewer jobs for journalists.”
What’s really troubling is that he seems to think this is a problem that the FCC needs to fix. This certainly seems to go well beyond the FCC’s mandate, and it takes an impressive amount of conceptual blindness not to see that the solution is exactly what he described was a part of the problem.