It's Not About the Paper, Senator!


Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Miles O'Brien and David Waters in the midst of a five-hour webcast covering the launch of STS-119.

Blogger Bill Salvin really gets it. He understands what is happening in the world of journalism – and he realizes it is not all bad. The free market can and should decide on its own how it uses its free press. Politicians don’t belong here – muddying the clear waters of our First Ammendment

View From The Bridge: The Future of Journalism, Part II.

My advice to Senator Kerry (not that he’s asking) is to let the journalists and entrepreneurs figure this out. Miles O’Brien was laid off from anchoring and reporting on CNN, but he’s back anchoring and reporting in this new environment (and doing really well!). Just as people figured out how to make their newspapers relevant with the advent of radio, and radio reinvented itself when television came on the scene, the media will figure this out. We know that people want news. We know that people will figure out ways to make money delivering it.

Congress can’t help with this. Freedom of the Press includes the freedom to fail.


4 Responses to “It's Not About the Paper, Senator!”

  1. Michael Roston Says:

    Hear hear, Miles. Every time I hear someone propose that the big newspapers go ‘not-for-profit,’ I think of all the publications in America that are money losers for certain political interests. Because the deep pockets that back them need not worry about section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, they can attempt to influence politics in whatever way they like, although they too are effectively not-for-profit. Neutering the free speech abilities of some newspapers to make economic survival a little easier seems like the wrong path.

  2. Mike Says:

    A very smart man that lived around 230 years ago once said he would rather have a free press than a standing army. This man was Thomas Jefferson (ever hear of him, Mr. Kerry?). Bill Salvin is on the right path with this article. The government that governs best, governs least.

  3. Jeff McMahon Says:

    The thought of government involvement in the press makes me queasy, too, but let’s not forget that the free market is also a threat to the free press. Should the free market determine what we publish, for example?

    Salvin asks, “How will we trust that an editorial written to endorse a candidate isn’t compromised because Uncle Sam dropped a big bag of cash to the publisher?”

    And to that I’d ask, “How do we trust that an editorial written to endorse a candidate isn’t compromised because an advertiser dropped a big bag of cash to the publisher?”

    Sometimes we don’t trust, but to the extent that we do, we’re trusting journalists to resist outside influences, including government and business.

  4. grsgodwin Says:

    Hi Miles
    Glad to see that you’re remaining at the forefront of journalism.
    I’m looking forward to hearing from you on a plethora of stories.
    Rich Godwin

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