City Journal Summer 2014

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Adam D. Thierer
A Media Welfare State? « Back to Story

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That Obama administration officials at the FTC would give radical leftist plans for control of the media favorable mention in a contrived workshop is unfortunately, no surprise. The President made his dangerous, thin-skinned penchant for elimination of dissent in the media obvious when he went after Fox News, despite having the majority of the MSM firmly in his crooked pocket. We are in the grip of one of the most dangerous, radical, anti-Constitutional and corrupt regimes the nation has seen. Here's hoping the alternative media can alert the majority of Americans to their eroding liberty before Obama and his socialist/Marxist syndicate succeed in burying the Constitution deeper than they already have.
Sorry, but the lamestream media needs to be allowed to go out of business on it's own dime. We should be going the other way by de-funding federal money to PBS and NPR and allow them to raise it's budget privately. Non-profit media should never use tax money to maintain its independence and to not be a burden on the taxpayer.
From what I can tell, most New York Times readers, like most who read the Boston Globe or any other traditional newspaper, simply do not consider their local newspaper "propaganda," even if the readers repeatedly disagree with the paper's editorial positions. Reporting on last night's Yankees or Lakers game, or even on the financial regulation bill being considered in congress just isn't seen that way.

Some of the comments being posted express a companion illusion: that traditional media are failing because the "buying public" isn't buying anymore. But almost no newspaper or broadcast outlet, for generations if not forever, has been supported by a "buying public" -- by reader/viewers who pay some price that covers the cost of the journalism along with some profit. They are supported by advertisers -- by a well-known, predictable, very stable business-and-journalism model.

The World Wide Web introduced a new medium, one which is still not well understood (as well as misunderstood) on many levels. One key reason is that the media models being applied by traditional players are based on the established model -- on what they know.

And new media advocates, from what I can see, have been notably unsuccessful in making money from what they imagine to be "innovation," such as attempts to create crowd-sourced news sites and citizen-journalists.

In both attempts, the underlying model generally seems to be the assumption that advertising will support new media as it did old. But that assumption often sounds like pure wishful thinking. Advertisers are experimenting with the new medium, if anything, more aggressively than journalists and publishers. The entire character of publishing and of journalism is being daily invented, without as yet any permanence.

What's odd about McChesney's and Nichols' proposal is how reactionary it is: they want to force fit a government-funded and -administered bureaucracy onto a wildly mutating industry, in order to achieve quite specific ideological goals.
Bull. The problem is that no one who has money is willing to spend it on a regurgitation of democratic party talking points.
John Wolfsberger, Jr. June 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM
Mr. Thierer,

Thanks for the interesting article.

The quote that stands out is "...we’re in the midst of a major media revolution, and that many operators are struggling to cope with intensifying competition, digitization, declining advertising budgets, and fragmenting audiences." This is certainly the position of Mr. McChesney and Mr. Nichols, and their explanation for the impending demise of the legacy media.

They are reminiscent of the management of PepsiCo in the 1980s and 1990s. The company decided that the reason they couldn't dislodge Coca Cola from its number one spot was Coca Cola’s dominance in the fountain sales area. To address that, they paid well over market valuation for chains such as Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut (among many others). Their position didn’t improve. What they refused (not failed) to understand is that they were number two because the buying public didn’t like their product.

Mr. McChesney and Mr. Nichols fail to understand the cause for impending demise of legacy media because, as members of the Indoctrinated Class, they have neither the knowledge nor the analytical skills to recognize the reality that the buying public is rejecting the product. If there is a failure in the business model, it is that people will not pay for propaganda, especially not Leftist/Progressive/Democrat propaganda. The NY Times and the Wall Street Journal go behind online pay walls, and the NY Times loses readers while the WSJ gains. To anyone dealing with the real world, this is a rather large clue bat.

There is much agonizing among the Indoctrinated Class over this issue. Barring a miracle, I doubt they will ever come to realize that the public will pay for news, but not for “news.”

Regards.
the american exotic geto left recipe: 1 oz of lazyness, 1 oz of violence, 1 oz of envy, 1 oz of easymoney, 1 oz of arrogance, 10 oz of lies. mix all together, spread the dough in a nation wide bowl (use any appropiate media). after leavening for a few of decades, the whole society will all be bellwether to a delicious to manipulate selfslaved human kind dought ready to be eaten by any burocrat on earth including europeans, soviets and even the far east billions nations.
[So far we have been unwilling to pay for general news content by subscription and there are no signs of that changing.]

We're not unwilling to pay for "general news content"...we're unwilling to fund Democrat propaganda machines, which is precisely what the US MSM has become. On a daily basis, they spit in the face of more than half the country and they wonder why no one wants to pay for their diktats anymore?

A perfect example of their unmittigating gaul is on display right now with the Kagan nomination. How many months has it been since Obama announced her nomination? 3 or 4? And yet, where's the MSM when it comes to her banning the US military from recruitment at Harvard? Or her belief that govt should be able to decide what is and is not hate speech AND regulate it? or her views on book banning? And yet, contrast that with the treatment received by the judge that overruled the Obama Admins offshore drilling ban. Within 24 hours, news reports were being floated that he owned shares in oil companies and was therefore "possibly" biased.

They REALLY do think we're idiots.

[The danger is that we end up with media that is either free rubbish based on press releases and gossip paid for by gambling and porn pop-ups or partisan, like this site, paid for by sympathisers and special interest groups.]

Any of the above being preferable to having leftist govt bureaucrats signing the paychecks of the leftist reporters and editors.

[If we are not prepared to pay directly, then some sort of levy on access is one way of generating income for content. The challenge then is how to disburse it.]

Wrong. The "challenge" is for the US MSM to remember that its job is to inform the American public, NOT to inform our opinions.
I agree that the idea of the state deciding which media to allocate money to is unacceptable, but there is an underlying problem about paying for content. So far we have been unwilling to pay for general news content by subscription and there are no signs of that changing. The danger is that we end up with media that is either free rubbish based on press releases and gossip paid for by gambling and porn pop-ups or partisan, like this site, paid for by sympathisers and special interest groups. This isn't a very attractive prospect. If we are not prepared to pay directly, then some sort of levy on access is one way of generating income for content. The challenge then is how to disburse it.

Germany .....?
Hahahaha, do they want to import every stupid idea from
germany ?