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  • Is Government-Subsidized News on the Way?

    Federal Communications Commission Logo

    Is the Federal Communications Commission building a case for government-subsidized news? It’s not hard to imagine that will be the outcome of the Commission’s “Future of Media” inquiry. The digital age has produced a “democratic shortfall,” according to one source cited in the inquiry’s public notice. Another scholar working on the project for the FCC has said that today’s media abundance calls for “public media entities” that will serve “as both a filter to reduce information overload and a megaphone to give voice to the unheard.”

    In other words, a free marketplace of ideas isn’t good enough for some. They want the government to pick winners and losers—as long as the winners express views with which they happen to agree. Care to guess which views those will be?

    As Randolph May of the Free State Foundation notes, the justifications for a government role in controlling content are ever shifting. Once, alleged scarcity was the reason that the FCC could impose the fairness doctrine on radio without running afoul of the First Amendment. (See, for instance, the Supreme Court’s 1969 Red Lion decision.) Now it’s not scarcity but abundance that government is supposed to fix by acting as a filter. Meanwhile, the FCC has no problem telling private industry that filtering content is a no-no. Disallowing Internet service providers from discriminating among sources or kinds of content is the intent of the Commission’s push for net neutrality.

    If you are concerned about what the FCC is up to with its “Future of Media” inquiry, then you should attend the Free State Foundation’s event this Friday at noon at the National Press Club. The event, titled “The FCC’s ‘Future of Media’ Inquiry: What Is the FCC Is Doing – And Why?” features a presentation from Steven Waldman, who is leading the FCC’s inquiry. That will be followed by a discussion from a panel of three experts on communications policy: Catholic University professor and Free State Foundation fellow Donna Coleman Gregg, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, and former FCC commissioner and current Free State Foundation fellow Deborah Taylor Tate.

    Cross-posted at InsiderOnline.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to Is Government-Subsidized News on the Way?

    1. Rob Brown, Atlanta, says:

      In other words, the Democratic controlled FCC is worried that Americans will find out the REAL truth about the democratic agenda and all of its shortcomings so they better try to put a stop to those who only want to inform the American people of what is really taking place!

    2. Dennis Social Circle says:

      Cencorship by the "guvment". There goes the rest of the Constitution, obama does not like anyone or anything that does not agree with his form of "guvment" and will do all possible to stop it. CAN YOU SAY DICTATOR AS IN CHAVEZ?????

    3. North Dakota says:

      Underground news sources coming soon, of course they will be illegal as the government will completely disregard the constitution.

    4. Dave - Chelsea, MI says:

      Stand up for your freedoms, America — This Administration and Majority Party are working feverishly to deprive each of us of our Constitutional Rights…..

      Apparantly, the Obama campaign rhetoric should have read: "Welcome to Chains we can believe in, Comrades"……

    5. Paul Terry Stone, Su says:

      I thought that it existed now voluntarily except for Fox and most talk show hosts.

    6. Mike Larson , Chelan says:

      I believe that the Washington state has already given the Seattle Times a 40 % (?) tax cut.

    7. Tim AZ says:

      Of course govt. will have to subsidize the media so long as the govt. is made up of a majority of liberals. The lame stream media is dying a slow death because the citizenry aren't buying their liberal propaganda. If the lame stream media withers then so dose the liberal regime it supports.

    8. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      What makes HF think the left-wing media is not already "subsidized" by the Obama government? The FCC has made statement that they (through Obama) intend to totally control every news outlet, including the internet? Why do you think almost every news media outlet is in the tank for Obama? How can any business that continue to loose supporters, at alarming rates, and still survive without "subsidizes"? This is pure Obama pay-back. Like almost every aspect

      of Obama, it not yet in the open, and they will do everything they must to continue to hide the truth from all of us.

    9. Drew Page, IL says:

      Are you kidding? "Is Government-Subsidized News on the Way?" Wake up; it's here. To which TV networks do they grant interviews and whom do they exclude? Just Google 'Diversity Czar' and read some of the comments by Mark Lloyd, Obama's 'Diversity Czar', put in charge of the FCC.

      What's the matter? Don't you trust the Government to be unbiased in what it allows and doesn't allow over the airwaves and in cyberspace? They will be in a position to explain what you thought you heard them say the day or the week before, that is if they feel like they want to explain anything.

    10. Watney says:

      Cold civil war.

    11. HenHouseFox58 says:

      The alphabet news has lost supporters because of their ideology and I'm supposed to bail them out of their own stupidity? They are all useful idiots for the Whitehouse regime.

    12. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Defund FCC. The new Congress in 2011, must file a slew of bills defunding most of the agencies and departments. We must dry out the taxpayer wells.

    13. Drik says:

      What if they fund a news source and nobody watches?

      Only way to stop it is to starve the beast. Interposition and nullification as proposed by Jefferson and Madison.

      In Georgia, we are starting with Bill 877 to have the state collect and forward only the portion of fed demanded tax monies that are constitutional.

      Dry up the money supply and dry up the unconstitutional government.

    14. Rob Brown, Atlanta, says:

      I am not the Rob Brown who made the first comment, but I agree with the comment.

    15. Merrill, Albany, LA says:

      I can see the day when we will have Radio Free America, like we had Radio Free Europe when I was a child. But who will broadcast across Cold-Block America?

    16. Frank says:

      There is government subsidized news. It is called NPR.

    17. Hillary, Phoenix says:

      I'm a journalism student who will graduate next year, and so this topic, the topic of my future in the media industry, is of interest to me, you see.

      I read the article by McChesney and Nichols "The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers." They support government subsidies.

      Dare I ask what is so dangerous about government intervention?

      Because we are fooling ourselves if the current news industry isn't already a monopoly. At least when the government is involved, all eyes are wide open and waiting to point the finger of blame for any mistake. The monopoly of power currently in place tells us not to look at the man behind the curtain….

      What do you think Alex?

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