The Corner

The Future of Journalism

Rupert Murdoch offers his pleasantly optimistic thoughts on the future of journalism here. Also, it’s nice to see this media mogul smack down the concept of a taxpayer-funded newspaper bailout:

In my view, the growing drumbeat for government assistance for newspapers is as alarming as overregulation. One idea gaining in popularity is providing taxpayer funds for journalists. Or giving newspapers “nonprofit” status—in exchange, of course, for papers giving up their right to endorse political candidates. The most damning problem with government “help” is what we saw with the bailout of the U.S. auto industry: Help props up those who are producing things that customers do not want.

The prospect of the U.S. government becoming directly involved in commercial journalism ought to be chilling for anyone who cares about freedom of speech. The Founding Fathers knew that the key to independence was to allow enterprises to prosper and serve as a counterweight to government power. It is precisely because newspapers make profits and do not depend on the government for their livelihood that they have the resources and wherewithal to hold the government accountable.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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