Friday, June 4th, 2010
And you thought there was something called the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights in the USA? Not if the present administration and its cronies (essentially, an extension of the former administration) gets its way. You can kiss “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” bye-bye, along with the 2nd, 4th, and 10th amendments which are also under heavy attack. How quickly we adapt to something which would have been unthinkable a few short years ago. An attack on the first amendment represents the real beginning of the end of freedom. What do responsible citizens have recourse to but speech?
Related: Harper government secretly monitoring online chats about politics | Obama Czar Wants Mandatory Government Propaganda On Political Websites | Fox News Caught Aggregating Others Copyrighted Photographs… Something Murdoch Insists Is Illegal | Internet linking rights case to go before Supreme Court | China launches interview requirement, licensing for personal websites | Activists Shut Down Australian Government Websites in Internet Filter Protest | CBC’s new licencing plan: Pay to Print, Email, and Blog, and outsource enforcement to American Copyright Digital Rights Bounty Hunters | Internet companies voice alarm over Italian copyright law | Obama Information Czar Calls For Banning Free Speech | China Imposes New Internet Control | Death Of The Internet: Censorship Bills In UK, Australia, U.S. Aim To Block “Undesirable” Websites | We’re no thieves — despite what Rupert Murdoch claims, says Google | Google allows publishers to limit free content | FOX News owner’s media empire could block Google searches entirely | US Spec Ops operates psychological warfare websites targeted at UK | Murdoch CEO Labels Bloggers “Political Extremists” | Reuters Steps Up; Says Linking, Excerpting, Sharing Are Good Things For The News | Associated Press Tries To DRM The News | Should linking be illegal? | Bad news bearers warned to zip it by Kremlin | Italian Judge: Blogs are Illegal
The Washington Times
June 4, 2010
Journalism can reinvent itself without government ‘help’
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking ways to “reinvent” journalism, and that’s a cause for concern. According to a May 24 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul. The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers, forcing media companies to adapt and experiment to meet changing market needs. FTC’s policy staff fears this new reality.
“There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism,” the report states. With no faith that the market will work things out for the better, government thinks it must come to the rescue.
The ideas being batted around to save the industry share a common theme: They are designed to empower bureaucrats, not consumers. For instance, one proposal would, “Allow news organizations to agree jointly on a mechanism to require news aggregators and others to pay for the use of online content, perhaps through the use of copyright licenses.”
In other words, government policy would encourage a tax on websites like the Drudge Report, a must-read source for the news links of the day, so that the agency can redistribute the funds collected to various newspapers. Such a tax would hit other news aggregators, such as Digg, Fark and Reddit, which not only gather links, but provide a forum for a lively and entertaining discussion of the issues raised by the stories. Fostering a robust public-policy debate, not saving a particular business model, should be the goal of journalism in the first place.