Why Isn't The Government Stepping In To Save Newspapers?

from the they-do-it-for-other-industries dept

While the government seems to have no trouble stepping in to forcefully prop up obsolete business models in the entertainment industry, other industries get ignored. The decline of the newspaper business has been well-chronicled. However, unlike the recording and movie industries, it looks like the newspaper industry is hoping to really fight through the challenges presented to them by the internet. With that in mind, it's fun to read famed news editor Michael Kinsley's tongue-in-cheek plan to save the newspaper industry, which seems to rely heavily on government intervention, subsidizing newspapers with falling subscriptions while making canceling your newspaper subscription unconstitutional. While (we hope) most people realize that he's joking, with the way other industries have defended their business models with help from the government, you have to wonder if someone will take it seriously and try to implement it.

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  1. identicon
    Chris Wuestefeld, 10 May 2005 @ 6:27am

    Maybe this isn't so?

    From Reason Online:

    Profits are robust, even during an advertising recession. Legal protections remain the strongest in the world, even during a time of war. Technology has removed most barriers to entry, ushering in literally hundreds of thousands of new publications, some of which are altering the very way we produce and consume the news. A dayís work at the library can now be performed in an hour at your desk, using tools called Google, Nexis, and Findlaw. As a reporter, you can be in instantaneous contact via e-mail, videoconferences, and cell phones.

    In short, there have never been better conditions for journalism than in present-day America. Yet there is an influential movement, and an entire publishing mini-genre, dedicated to convincing us thatís not so.

    See http://www.reason.com/0212/cr.mw.woe.shtml for the full article.

    Their most recent issue has a full article devoted to the flourishing of the newspaper industry (mostly in the form of local free weeklies). Unfortunately, this article isn't availabe online yet.

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