Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Old 06-06-10, 09:19 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Working for Gizmonic Institute
Posts: 10,430
FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

"Plan" can be found here. (.pdf)

One day you will wake up and the America you have known will be gone.
crazyronin is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 09:28 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Working for Gizmonic Institute
Posts: 10,430
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Lots of government funding. Taxes on cell phones, electronic items and news aggregators to help fund "the public's watchdogs."

Read it and be sickened. It's only 47 pages.
crazyronin is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 10:01 PM
  #3  
Moderator
 
TheBigDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,738
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Here's an editorial from the Washington Times:

FTC floats Drudge tax
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.

The report also discusses the possibility of offering tax exemptions to news organizations, establishing an AmeriCorps for reporters and creating a national fund for local news organizations. The money for those benefits would come from a suite of new taxes. A 5 percent tax on consumer electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles and laptops that let consumers read the news could be used to encourage people to keep reading the dead-tree version of the news. Other taxes might be levied on the radio and television spectrum, advertising and cell phones.

The conflict of interest in having the government pay or contribute to a newsman's salary could not be more obvious. Reporters and columnists would have little incentive to offer critical analyses of tax increases that might mean a boost in the pocketbook. Once Congress has the power to fund the news, it can at any time attach "strings" designed to promote certain viewpoints - in the name of fairness, of course. Each year at budget time, the Fourth Estate would scramble to be worthy in the eyes of Capitol Hill for increased support. It is hardly a surprise that the heavily subsidized National Public Radio frequently presents issues in a way favorable to Washington's tax-and-spend agenda.

Self-respecting journalists must reject this tempting government bribe as the FTC brings its proposals to a round-table discussion scheduled for June 15. When it comes to the media, consumers lose most when government suppresses innovation in the name of "saving" old business models.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ts-drudge-tax/
TheBigDave is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 11:05 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Dr Mabuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: 75 clicks above the Do Lung bridge...
Posts: 18,950
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by crazyronin View Post
"Plan" can be found here. (.pdf)

One day you will wake up and the America you have known will be gone.
One day?

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Dr Mabuse is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 11:38 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

If we just allow anyone to post whatever they want on the internet, the day may come when the people do not listen to what the government wants them to hear.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 11:50 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,525
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

The problem the FTC is trying to address is a legitimate one -- it's getting harder and harder for a news source to earn money off of the news reports it generates, which means that there is less and less incentive for them to generate the news in the first place. If I go to Drudge or Google.news and only click through to the NYT for the specific articles I'm interested in, that means I do not click through to the front page of the NYT, which means I deprive the NYT of those page views, which hurts their bottom line. To say nothing of the fact that I am reading online in the first place instead of in print.

I don't know what the solution is, and I haven't got the time to read and digest the FTC report so I have no idea if it's got any good ideas in it, but it is a very real problem.
JasonF is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 12:23 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: closer than you'd like
Posts: 1,672
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Are TV news shows' ratings down and they're being canceled? Are the TV news networks shutting down? Radio news stations?

This all started when those damn printing techniques were invented in the first place, and then people started to learn how to read! Put all the town criers out of work. And the cycle continued...

Radio came along, and all the newspapers went out of business.

TV came along, and all the news radio stations shut down.

Cable TV came along, and broadcast TV news disappeared.

Now the internet is here, and clearly news is in trouble, just like before.

Look how hard it is to find any news these days.


In a related story, your share of the national debt is now $556,688.
Cheato is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 12:56 AM
  #8  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
The problem the FTC is trying to address is a legitimate one -- it's getting harder and harder for a news source to earn money off of the news reports it generates, which means that there is less and less incentive for them to generate the news in the first place. If I go to Drudge or Google.news and only click through to the NYT for the specific articles I'm interested in, that means I do not click through to the front page of the NYT, which means I deprive the NYT of those page views, which hurts their bottom line. To say nothing of the fact that I am reading online in the first place instead of in print.

I don't know what the solution is, and I haven't got the time to read and digest the FTC report so I have no idea if it's got any good ideas in it, but it is a very real problem.
If so, it's a problem the NY Times or any other news organization needs to address. We shouldn't have the FTC trying to save the news organizations, the same way we shouldn't have been bailing out the automakers.
Supermallet is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 12:58 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
The problem the FTC is trying to address is a legitimate one -- it's getting harder and harder for a news source to earn money off of the news reports it generates, which means that there is less and less incentive for them to generate the news in the first place.
I agree it is a legitimate problem (if that is your point), but I do not agree that it is a legitimate problem for the FTC to address. Not their business. A free press is not made more free by the government "keeping it viable" in a free market. That just opens a door for a less free press and a more government controlled one (in one manner or another).
kvrdave is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 01:03 AM
  #10  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

I will throw in one counterpoint, though: The BBC operates under a charter that says it must be free of any private or governmental influence. The BBC is funded by fees paid by the population of the UK, and it is considered one of the finest news sources in the world. So something like this COULD work, but only if there were a ton of safeguards that kept government influence out of news organizations.

Frankly, I don't trust our government to put those safeguards in place.
Supermallet is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 01:42 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,525
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I agree it is a legitimate problem (if that is your point), but I do not agree that it is a legitimate problem for the FTC to address. Not their business. A free press is not made more free by the government "keeping it viable" in a free market. That just opens a door for a less free press and a more government controlled one (in one manner or another).
I'm very wary of any attempts by the FTC or any other agency sticking its hands in the media for exactly the reasons you point out. But let's not kid ourselves -- the media couldn't exist without the benefit of copyright laws, so if you don't like the government "keeping it viable," then you don't like it to be viable. It's not a question of the government getting involved; it's a question of whether the government should change its involvement.
JasonF is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 05:13 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Working for Gizmonic Institute
Posts: 10,430
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I'm very wary of any attempts by the FTC or any other agency sticking its hands in the media for exactly the reasons you point out. But let's not kid ourselves -- the media couldn't exist without the benefit of copyright laws, so if you don't like the government "keeping it viable," then you don't like it to be viable. It's not a question of the government getting involved; it's a question of whether the government should change its involvement.
The power to enact copyright laws is specifically granted in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
Let's not compare apples to shoehorns.
crazyronin is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 07:21 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: MI
Posts: 25,054
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I agree it is a legitimate problem (if that is your point), but I do not agree that it is a legitimate problem for the FTC to address. Not their business. A free press is not made more free by the government "keeping it viable" in a free market. That just opens a door for a less free press and a more government controlled one (in one manner or another).
Agreed. Talk about the fox watching the hen house. One of the biggest jobs of a free press is to foster openness in a government that would much prefer opaque-ness. The founders worries about that are expressed in the very first afterthought to the Constitution. Crap, it's even more important than carrying guns, which is only #2.
OldDude is online now  
Old 06-07-10, 09:37 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
The problem the FTC is trying to address is a legitimate one -- it's getting harder and harder for a news source to earn money off of the news reports it generates, which means that there is less and less incentive for them to generate the news in the first place. If I go to Drudge or Google.news and only click through to the NYT for the specific articles I'm interested in, that means I do not click through to the front page of the NYT, which means I deprive the NYT of those page views, which hurts their bottom line. To say nothing of the fact that I am reading online in the first place instead of in print.

I don't know what the solution is, and I haven't got the time to read and digest the FTC report so I have no idea if it's got any good ideas in it, but it is a very real problem.
Easy solution: NYT modifies its spider.txt file to disallow Google indexing.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 09:46 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,525
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by crazyronin View Post
The power to enact copyright laws is specifically granted in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8
I'm aware of that. That doesn't really speak to my point that the government already exercises its power in ways that directly support the media.
JasonF is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 09:51 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,525
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
Easy solution: NYT modifies its spider.txt file to disallow Google indexing.
And then they lose the page views of everyone who uses Google to look for news. Plus, everyone who uses Google loses out on the opportunity to read things from the NYT. Taken to an extreme, everyone disallows Google indexing and Google becomes worthless, at least for news. What you suggest is a solution of sorts (you can disallow Google, but you can't keep Drudge from linking to you, and the problem is aggregators generally, not Google specifically), but it's not the optimal one.
JasonF is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 09:57 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
And then they lose the page views of everyone who uses Google to look for news. Plus, everyone who uses Google loses out on the opportunity to read things from the NYT. Taken to an extreme, everyone disallows Google indexing and Google becomes worthless, at least for news. What you suggest is a solution of sorts (you can disallow Google, but you can't keep Drudge from linking to you, and the problem is aggregators generally, not Google specifically), but it's not the optimal one.
I didn't say it was a good solution.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 10:08 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Easy. Redirect the page that Drudge is linking to to be an ad you have to click through. Or put ads on the article they link to.

A little javascript and cookies can fix the problem for you.



Why are we trying to save print media anyway? If it is outdated, it is outdated.
Venusian is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 12:20 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
And then they lose the page views of everyone who uses Google to look for news. Plus, everyone who uses Google loses out on the opportunity to read things from the NYT. Taken to an extreme, everyone disallows Google indexing and Google becomes worthless, at least for news. What you suggest is a solution of sorts (you can disallow Google, but you can't keep Drudge from linking to you, and the problem is aggregators generally, not Google specifically), but it's not the optimal one.
Then we'd need the government to step in and keep search engines viable, because that is the free flow of information.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 12:37 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
arminius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Here I Is!
Posts: 6,968
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Then we'd need the government to step in and keep search engines viable, because that is the free flow of information.
Wow, we need the gov just about everywhere. No wonder all those new jobs are gov jobs. I hope they can get on this right away, you never know when another crisis will pop up that only the gov can solve.Between the FTC and the EPA we will be sitting pretty for many minutes and at a reasonable cost too.
arminius is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 03:02 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,535
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
The problem the FTC is trying to address is a legitimate one -- it's getting harder and harder for a news source to earn money off of the news reports it generates, which means that there is less and less incentive for them to generate the news in the first place.
Won't somebody think of the buggy-whip makers!

New technologies invalidate existing business models all the time. This is a good thing, not something the government needs to step in and prevent.

Last edited by Sean O'Hara; 06-07-10 at 03:04 PM.
Sean O'Hara is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 03:13 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,535
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I'm very wary of any attempts by the FTC or any other agency sticking its hands in the media for exactly the reasons you point out. But let's not kid ourselves -- the media couldn't exist without the benefit of copyright laws, so if you don't like the government "keeping it viable," then you don't like it to be viable. It's not a question of the government getting involved; it's a question of whether the government should change its involvement.
First off, I'm fairly certain that newspapers predate copyright.

But more importantly, copyright does not protect facts. You can copyright a specific presentation of facts, but not the facts themselves. Yet one of the FTC proposals would effectively reverse that. That's a cure worse than the disease. Same with the government subsidizing news. So is any government involvement with the media.

If the New York Times' business model is no longer viable, they need to fix it, not the government.
Sean O'Hara is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 04:11 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
First off, I'm fairly certain that newspapers predate copyright.
You would be wrong.

Of course it depends on what you mean by copyright.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 04:15 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: gloucester, uk
Posts: 2,154
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

The BBC is funded by those who wish to use a TV in Britain regardless of whether we wish to view a BBC channel. It's far from a fair "tax" though perhaps not as onerous as some might suggest.

Irregardless of that, government involvement in news dissemination carries echoes of 1984 and could eventually be used for insidious purposes even if they are not originally intended.

Last edited by Burnt Thru; 06-07-10 at 04:18 PM.
Burnt Thru is offline  
Old 06-07-10, 05:48 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: closer than you'd like
Posts: 1,672
Re: FTC plans to "re-invent journalism."

Originally Posted by Burnt Thru View Post
Irregardless of that, government involvement in news dissemination carries echoes of 1984 and could eventually be used for insidious purposes even if they are not originally intended.
George Bush would have been mocked had he said such a thing.

Grammar aside, I agree with your point, which was also Santayana's (not a poster on this forum): power tends to corrupt. Even with good intentions, eventually a power will be abused. That's why the people with the power need to be held in check, why in the U.S. our government "leaders" are in reality government "servants." Too many people forget that, and we the people allow the corruption and abuse to stand. Giving those same corrupt a-holes a foot in the door of the fourth estate is insane.
Cheato is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.