How we disseminate information is being reinvented -- it (SET ITAL) always (END ITAL) is being reinvented -- and one day soon a breakthrough will allow newspapers to be compensated more fairly for the content they produce. But propping up antiquated models is no way to save any industry.
Let me put it another way. In 1985, the FTC did not set forth recommendations on how to "reinvent music" and propose a 5 percent tax on compact discs as a way to subsidize companies that produced vinyl records. That kind of intervention would have hindered technology rather than driven it.
Hey, bookstores are going out of business at an alarming rate. No one is suggesting we reinvent "writing."
So though it might seem tragic to the people at the FTC that the future of journalism may not include every magazine and television station they admire, it's not the government's job to alter the trajectory of journalism. Journalism should be off-limits. And the FTC "discussions" are a way to preserve, not save, and to control, not innovate.
David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of "Nanny State." Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com. To find out more about David Harsanyi and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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