The Federal Trade Commission recently came out with a report titled “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism,” and in it’s 47 pages, are a series of proposals that the federal government could institute to help preserve the newspaper industry. They include a national fund for local news outlets, establish a “journalism” division of AmeriCorps, increase funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, provide a tax credit to news organizations for every journalist they employ, and allow tax deductible charitable donations to news organizations.
David Harsanyi, commentating on the report, said “though it might seem tragic to the people at the FTC that the future of journalism may not include every magazine and television station they admire, it’s not the government’s job to alter the trajectory of journalism. Journalism should be off-limits. And the FTC “discussions” are a way to preserve, not save, and to control, not innovate” (emphasis added). I vaguely remember one Rahm Emanuel saying “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” But don’t let hyped government worry over the future of the country be the justification for yet another takeover of a private industry.