Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Federal Goverment Looking At Taking Over News Organizations Too?

They call it "support", and state that such help is "vital to Democracy".

We have gotten to a place in history where it we are not surprised to find our government telling us it is vital to Democracy that news organizations be bribed.

What kind of news will we get if the government is paying for it? Can anyone say, "Pravda?"

From the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON –The head of the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday the agency will study whether government should aid struggling news organizations, which are suffering from a collapse in advertising revenues as the internet upends their centuries-old business model.

FTC Chairman Jon Liebowitz's comments came during day one of a two-day "workshop" sponsored by the agency that became a forum for arguments among the heads of a diverse array of news organizations over the future of journalism.

Mr. Leibowitz said his agency will examine whether government should change the way the industry is regulated, from making news-gathering companies exempt from antitrust laws to granting them special tax treatment to making changes to copyright laws.

Mr. Leibowitz said the FTC would hold more public workshops next year, and would work with the Federal Communications Commission to revisit "cross-ownership restrictions" that prevent a company from owning newspapers and television stations in a single regional market. He said the FTC would also examine the possibility of extending government subsidies, such as those currently received by public broadcasters, to commercial news organizations.

While cautioning that changes in the news business must be much better understood before any policy changes are made, Mr. Leibowitz said: "We should be able to take action if necessary to preserve the news that is vital to democracy."

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