The Federal Trade Commission's attempt to noodle the "reinvention" of journalism sounds to many conservatives like "The Great Newspaper Bailout" -- just as Dan Gainor and Catherine Maggio wrote for the Business and Media Institute last fall. Here's Dan's latest update.
Laurence Jarvik, an author of several fine books on public broadcasting like "PBS: Behind the Screen" (and a friend), shared the comments he's offering to the FTC on his blog. He says subsidizing newspapers is like supporting horsewhip vendors and buggy manufacturers:
[T]hese FTC proposals for revisions in copyright, antitrust, and tax law appear designed to favor printed newspapers over new media. They are backward looking, regressive, unimaginative (the FTC’s proposed tax on electronics recycles a fifty-year old proposal the Johnson administration attempted to implement for public broadcasting finance) and would serve to undermine innovation, creativity, and the public’s right to know. Indeed, they would serve to stifle the progress of science and the useful arts.
Today, in the age of the Internet, anyone and everyone can be a journalist. Anyone can print anything on the web. That is progress for freedom of the press and a boon to journalism, not reason to despair.