Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Protecting the Horse and Buggy

Here you will find the FTC’s notice in the Federal Register:

Public Workshops and Roundtables: From Town Crier to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?

Again, it’s important to note that The Federal Register is "[t]he official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents." From FedThread, “It's published by the U.S. government, five days a week. The Federal Register tells you what your government is doing, in a lot more detail than you get from the news media.”

This FedThread website to which you’ll be redirected, allows you to comment (not an official government comment) and start a discussion with others who are interested in this particular governmental activity as well as establish an RSS feed for all comments on the matter. You can search for issues, and keep up to date with matters that interest you. I’ve added it to my sidebar. (Thanks, Curtis).

Back to the matter at hand:

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) announces that it will hold two days of public workshops on December 1 and 2, 2009, to examine the Internet’s impact on journalism in newspapers, magazines, broadcast television and radio, and cable television. The Internet has changed how many consumers receive news and altered the advertising landscape. Low entry barriers on the Internet have allowed new voices of journalism to emerge; the Internet-enabled links from one web site to another have given consumers easy access to all types of news; efficiencies available through the Internet have substantially reduced advertising costs. These and other changes related to the Internet have benefitted consumers greatly.

At the same time, however, lower online advertising costs have reduced advertising revenues to news organizations that rely on those revenues for the majority of their funding. The explosion in the number and types of web sites has increased the supply of advertising locations. As that supply has increased, advertisers now pay less for online advertising, and some advertising has moved from print, television, or radio to online sites. In addition, most online news is offered free, so online readers of news frequently do not contribute subscription revenues to news media.
I kid you not. This is an example of our tax dollars at work: discussing how to protect the horse and buggy companies from being run out of business by the horseless carriage.

More importantly, does anyone else have a problem with the fact that our government is looking into deciding for you how and where you should get your news?


Stephen Bourque said...

Wow, that's scary. The recent FTC regulations on blogging are just one of the ominous attacks on free speech that are threatening us.

Lynne said...

That is being done in the name of consumer protection while these "discussions" are being held in the name of protecting an industry.

A government that seeks to control all aspects of our lives is indeed a scary thing.