FTC Trying To Save Journalism Too… But It Seems To Think Journalism Is Old Newspapers
from the i'm-confused dept
Although many of the issues confronting journalism cut across different news media platforms, such as broadcast television and radio, most of the discussion in this document will use the perspective of newspapers to exemplify the issues facing journalism as a whole. Studies have shown that newspapers typically provide the largest quantity of original news to consumers over any given period of time. We include within the term “newspapers” online news websites run either by an existing newspaper or by an online-only news organization. Other sources of news are also important, of course, and proposals for action should not favor newspapers over other news platforms.
That last sentence is the “denial” part, but it never seems to come up again. Many of the proposals would almost certainly massively favor newspapers over other platforms for no good reason other than the fact that some media folks are begging the government to set up laws that favor them over upstart competitors. It’s a shame really. The FTC could have put out a document and a discussion that was focused on all of the compelling new business models and sources of reporting and journalism that are happening all over the place. Instead, it seems to just accept that such business models can’t possibly produce enough revenue to matter and support the kind of journalism necessary.
While the FTC document goes to great pains to say that it’s not clearly recommending any of these particular proposals at this point, the fact that things like expanding hot news is even listed as a possibility is downright scary. Expanding hot news is in no way about helping journalism. It’s about stifling it.
All in all the problems with the document are pretty serious. It’s an attempt to define the future by extrapolating the past. That’s not how innovation happens. However, if anyone from the FTC would like to take a more forward-looking approach to enabling journalism in the modern era, they’re welcome to attend our event…