This morning I read an opinion piece over at the Wall St. Journal in which the writer was trying to explain why journalism needs a bailout from the government. The article was written by Lee Bollinger, who states that without government help, we citizens would not get any real news. He seems to feel that the outsiders from foreign news media would give us only biased news articles.
He goes on to state:
The idea of public funding for the press stirs deep unease in American culture. To many it seems inconsistent with our strong commitment, embodied in the First Amendment, to having a free press capable of speaking truth to power and to all of us. This press is a kind of public trust, a fourth branch of government. Can it be trusted when the state helps pay for it?
It makes one wonder where Mr. Bollinger was during his history classes. Freedom of the press is the key to keeping the public informed about issues that can impact them. Having a free press has insured that the newspapers can print the truth no matter who might get hurt. This would be undermined if the government were paying the press, no matter what Mr. Bollinger thinks.
Besides, I thought that paywalls were going to save the newspapers?
You can read what else Bollinger has to say, but hurry. A paywall could go up any day.