Monday, May 31, 2010

The Government Wants To Save Newspapers & Media Moguls - At the Expense of Blogs

By Jeff Jarvis
Buzz Machine

The Federal Trade Commission has been nosing around how to save journalism and in its just-posted “staff discussion draft” on “potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism,” it makes its bias clear:  The FTC defines journalism as what newspapers do and aligns itself with protecting the old power structure of media.

If the FTC truly wanted to reinvent journalism, the agency would instead align itself with journalism’s disruptors. But there’s none of that here. The clearest evidence: the word “blog” is used but once in 35 pages of text and then only parenthetically as an example of buying ads on topical sites (“e.g., a soccer blog…”); otherwise, it’s only a footnote. The only mention of investing in technology — the agent of disruption — comes on the 35th page (suggesting R&D for tools such as “improved electronic note-taking”). There’s not a hint of seeing a new ecosystem of news emerge – the ecosystem we study and support at CUNY — except as the entry of nonprofit entities that, by their existence, give up on the hope the market will sustain news.


  1. Some time we get so sick of all the negative comments. I am really excited to see what plays out.

  2. If you are you looking for a kumbaya world, you will never, ever find it. If you use heavy-handed government to suppress freedom of speech because someone finds it offensive, you will cause people to internalize their anger, and that always backfires. Suppression of free speech is similar to putting a lid on a rapidly boiling pot. Far better, I think, to hear exactly what your opponent thinks--allow him or her to vent, and then allow the listener (or viewer) to respond accordingly. Each has the freedom to choose whether they go elsewhere for news and views or (if it's your blog) to delete the nasty remarks and move on to the next topic. That way everybody feels better.