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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Will Newspapers Be The Next Bailout?

I have heard rumors in the recent past about a possible "bailout" of struggling news outlets, in particular news papers. Mish has linked to a Washington Times editorial (I am linking to Mish rather than the Washington Times, because, frankly, the editorial is worthless as it references a specific FTC document but does not link to it, identify it,  or even lift direct quotes from it. You can read the editorial for yourself if you want).  I did a little digging on the FTC website, and indeed there is discussion (pdf alert) inside the FTC concerning a possible "re-invention" of Journalism. Why that is the government's business is beyond me, but government sponsorship of journalism is beyond conflict of interest - it stabs at the heart of a free society. Keep in mind, this is merely the "discussion" stage, so it's not panic time yet, but among the topics being discussed are possible taxes to be levied on non-newspaper news sources (read that "internet") in order to hand that money over to failing newspapers. The document is lengthy, but well worrth the read if you have an interest in the future of thre internet.

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