Monday, February 2, 2009

Stimulus for newspaper industry: Precedent exists for "a public investment in words"

Last week I posted a thought for the newspaper industry to be included in the federal stimulus plan.

Today David Scharfenberg opines in the Boston Globe:
Congress, intent on jump-starting the economy, should set aside $100 million - well under 1 percent of the stimulus approved by the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate - for a national journalism fund.

The cash would seed low-cost, Internet-based news operations in cities large and small - combining vigorous, professional reporting with blogging, video posts, citizen journalism, and aggregation of stories from other sources.

He notes that, clearly, there is a healthy precedent for "a public investment in words."

The Depression-era Federal Writers Project paid the underemployed to compile oral histories, sketch out ethnographies, and write comprehensive guides to the states. And for more than 40 years, Washington has contributed to National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System.

1 comment:

KPR said...

This is by far the single worst idea to come out of a sea of terrible ideas, all under the auspices of 'stimulus'.

In December I had a sickening feeling that the DC political class would come up with the fine idea of screwing the taxpayer with more debt, and use this debt to buy off newspapers in return for articles slanted to mysteriously coincide with the politicians' way of thinking.

And here it is. Why oh why was there not a stimulus plan for the buggy whip industry? Why not for the men's hat industry? These and thousands of other once great industries either fell out of fashion or were superseded by better technology. Thus the companies that made the products either re-tooled or went under. And those who worked in their factories learned new trades or were unemployed.

The newspaper industry is the latest industry to fail. Funny that all the writers for papers give various excuses for the failure, but refuse to see one big obvious reason for the fact that many Americans no longer will pay for the local rag. Nearly EVERY major paper in this country is BIASED! I quit 6 years ago buying the Portland Oregonian. It has been biased in offering excuses for the liberal establishment and has been in their pockets ever since I first learned to read and picked up that paper. With the advent of the internet I have many new options for obtaining my news. I have always been a newshound. I no longer have to pay money each day to read biased news. I can find it for free. If the paper were truly unbiased and not beholden to the establishment, I'd still buy it just so I could read local info. No more.

But now politicians who know papers will pander also know papers will further pander when their lifeblood is tied to the politicians' political life! How is this not obvious to anyone who can reason?

Count me out of this crap-can idea!