Robert MacMillan, writing for Reuters:
Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty. But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.
Nicastro represents Connecticut’s 79th assembly district, which includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days, along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.
That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot afford to keep them open anymore.
Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and petitioned the state government to do something about it. “The media is a vitally important part of America,” he said, particularly local papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio stations.
Nicastro, a Democrat, is also proposing state support for religious schools. More government money, more government control.
MacMillan’s article explains
Relying on government help raises ethical questions for the press, whose traditional role has been to operate free from government influence as it tries to hold politicians accountable to the people who elected them. Even some publishers desperate for help are wary of this route.
Providing government support can muddy that mission, said Paul Janensch, a journalism professor at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and a former reporter and editor.
“You can’t expect a watchdog to bite the hand that feeds it,” he said.
Additionally, all these bailouts are just another way of Postponing reality
A renowned economist of the past, J.A. Schumpeter, used to refer to progress under capitalism as “creative destruction” – the replacement of businesses that have outlived their usefulness with businesses that carry technological and organizational creativity forward, raising standards of living in the process.
If the government had intervened, we’d be still be listening to music from wax cylinders instead of from iPod Touch.
It’s time to stop postponing reality. Failure should be rewarded no more.
No more bailouts.
As it turns out, Michelle Malkin had started a Newspaper Bailout Countdown Clock on Nov. 11.