Government subsidies and federal regulations are being entertained by the FTC in an open discussion between the Luddites and the Progressors of news media. This discussion takes a concerning direction as the FTC makes some recommendations on how the govenment might “float” the industry until it can gets its act together. I understand the interest of supporting yet another of the foundational industries of our nation, but it’s intervention is supporting exactly the sort of middle-man distribution that needs to be demolished.
The news industry has been founded on the dissemination of information and (most of the time) facts. I am personally amazed that the industry: (a) has survived in a market where this core tenant has been repeatedly threatened for SO long, (b) does this while bringing very little of its own innovation to the table, and (c) so voraciously complains as their belts are tightened to the brink of starvation. I have little empathy. So it brings great pleasure to see Google, one of the leading news aggregators, bring a little sensibility into the discussion.
I caught this via a review posted at Buzz Machine who sheds a little light on the arguments presented. On the whole, I agree with their points. His review makes for a very interesting read, even if only to illustrate the painful situation News Media currently finds itself. (Thanks, Jeff!)