Government Intervention to Save Journalism

Friday, January 28, 2011


Since last December, the FTC has been hosting workshops to discuss the future of journalism in the internet age. But according to blogger Jeff Jarvis, the FTC's released draft of proposals heavily favors outmoded journalism models and hinders technological innovations that could revolutionize the industry.

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Comments [9]

Dan from Las Vegas, NV

I listen to Carol Oft (may be a last name spelling error) on "As it Happens" which I thought was a program on your radio broadcast, but I can't find it listed anywhere. I wanted to ask why no one has brought up the issue about the Challenger diseaster where the main man in charge of the launch was suspended just prior to launching. Apparently, he would have done things differently than his replacement which would have saved the lost lives. It was published by Reader's Digest. Also, I knew at the time a pathologist who told me he learned from his inner circle colleagues that the Challenger crew's capsule survived the explosion and entered the ocean intact, but the crew members all drowned as there were no provisions to keep it afloat. This info was kept hidden.

Feb. 03 2011 10:50 PM
David from San Diego CA

It is time to let go of the old newspapers and move on to the new media sources.

Feb. 02 2011 04:29 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

To Gerald, I share your foreboding of the end of the traditional newspaper. But the 'almighty dollar' frequently tells truths that should be heard; your problem is with consumers, not businesses. AM radio was dying because of its inability to compete with FM (after fighting the development of FM through the regulatory FCC for many years), until it was rescued by the 'almighty dollar' in the form of the much-maligned talk-radio format. It's weird - there are more, and more diverse information sources than ever before, and there is more moaning about the evolution of 'the news' than ever before.

Feb. 01 2011 12:50 PM
Gerald from District of Columbia, The Last Colony

The guests on your Sunday program made no logical sense. Jeff Jarvis was promoting somebody called an Aggregator. The Aggregators seems to want something for nothing by bringing together the work of reporters and investigators and then publish that work under some other title and format. He said, "They are sending audiences to the news organizations". No one is going to read and article twice on a routine basis. I think the Aggregator is getting a free ride. A ride that will end when the newspaper lays off the reporters, investigators and editors and stops publication. I am on the internet and I still subscribe to the local newspaper. There are other drawbacks to the electronic delivery of the news. I can't fold an Ipad and put it in my hip pocket. I can't tear an article out of the Ipad and leave the balance of the paper on the subway. Once the electronic news delivery succeeds in closing the traditional newspapers, how will the many individuals who don't have the internet and other electronic media get their news. And once the electronic media succeed in destroying the traditional newspapers, where will the agrigators get their news. Even in radio, we have seen how the almighty dollar has changed the news. Local radio stations in the past had hourly news broadcast. NPR is not everywhere. Outside of the major population areas you would be hard pressed to find news on the local radio station today. And now with the change to the new digital television, stations that could be received in the rural areas are no longer available. However, for now, the newspaper is still delivered. It is to bad that individuals like Jeff Jarvis don't consider how sometimes change for change sake does not carry everybody with it. Modern air travel was around when my Grandmother, Mother and Father died. Neither ever flew on a plane. Their are many who will be less informed when you succeed in destroying a 160 year old tradition of newspapers.

Jan. 31 2011 10:02 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

The government already subsidizes news media with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The predictable result has been politically-based antipathy toward the CPB and toward NPR. You can't escape the fact that 'somebody' decides what the 'news' is - and there's the rub.

Jan. 31 2011 04:54 PM
chascates from Austin, Tx

Nice to hear the old 'newspaper' jingle again.

Jan. 29 2011 06:24 PM
Michael S. Cullen from Berlin, Germany

While I'm concerned that we might either be losing our newspapers or paying lots for them online, I am also concerned about newspapers as a RECORD. It's because most of the industrialized countries have saved, on paper, on microfilm and now digitally, their old newspapers that many of us, historians, journalists, but also genealogists, can look up historical details; I use many resources: the NYTimes (back to Sep 1851), the Times (London) back to 1785, dozens of French newspapers being digitized (numerisée) by the Bibliothèque National de France under the program; who, what, will help us preserve what is happening today for future generations, and how?
Michael S. Cullen, Berlin, Germany

Jan. 29 2011 10:15 AM
Just a Thought

It seems like statism in the government seeks to protect their political allies in old media who are "resistant to bias" with the "investment" of somebody elses money. This is as if 100 years ago the government was spending millions in breeding horses and improving the quality of feed while the first cars were speeding down the road. "One old power structure circling its wagons around another" is an excellent way for the guest to describe it. With a Republican Congress and Republican state legislators feverishly searching for budget cuts in the next decade and investigating mismanagement, perhaps public radio and other media should accept that and adjust their budgets and business models accordingly like everybody else. "Baa-ba-booey" and "Hope and Change" are both dumb catch phrases that amused the media until it finally effected their business.

It is nice to see a self described Democrat like the guest exclaim "stay off my lawn" which is just modern parlance for the old Gadsten flag motto of "Don't Tread On Me".

Jan. 29 2011 09:22 AM
chuck thompson from Anchorage

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in saying that the draft version of the FCC report was lacking in "journalist or intellectual rigor ... [with] very little fact gathering ... [and] a lot of opinions" followed by the comment that "It sounds a lot like blogs, doesn't it?" didn't Jeff basically argue against himself?

I swear he just admitted that blogs are mostly just, well, "bobba booey" full of opinions, containing few facts, and lacking journalistic or intellectual rigor. That is classic "damning with faint praise" ... and certainly doesn't argue well for "news alternatives" that, substantively, run a mile wide and an inch deep....

You know, like Fox News...

Jan. 29 2011 03:19 AM

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