Monday, April 20, 2009

Print Money

I have lamented the death of some daily newspapers in this country, and done shows about the dire straits the industry finds itself in. But the last thing we need is Congress stepping in to help save newspapers -- because this is not the role of government.

Next week, Senator John Kerry's commerce subcommittee will hold hearings on the financial problems of newspapers. To what end? A bailout for publishers whose bottom line has dropped even lower? Let's hope not.

As I have discussed before, journalists may have to develop a method by which their readers, both in print and online, pay for the privilege of being informed. In the changing media equation, each outlet must find its own way, without government intervention or subsidies.

The US Senate has as little to do with saving newspapers as it does with steroids in baseball. Not that that stopped them from sticking their noses where they don't belong.

We've heard this "newspapers are dying" cry before. Take a look at what Reason's Jesse Walker found in an essay about the newspaper industry from 1918...