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Saving the news media means moving beyond benevolence of billionaires

By Rodney Benson and Victor Pickard

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Saving the news media means moving beyond benevolence of billionaires

Naive. It is not benevolence that motivates Bezos or Soong it is gatekeeping.

I wonder how Bezos' Post is reporting on Amazon's attempted demolition of of American's labor rights?

And even suppression of left-leaning journalistic voices on X by Musk?

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The time has come to dramatically scale up these projects, from millions of dollars to billions, whether through “media vouchers” that allow voters to allocate funds or other ambitious proposals for creating tens of thousands of new journalism jobs across the country.

Whatever you want to call this - "media voucher," “news voucher” or “public interest voucher” - Those that would try this will immediately run into the BIG elephant in the room: Perceptions by those "voters" of the industry and its honesty, ethics, and whether it deserves public trust.

The numbers are grim.

Gallup told us last month that the Honesty and Ethics rating for journalists in the US is at an all-time low of 19%.

Let's be frank: Like it or not, multiple studies over the years clearly show that the public thinks the industry is disturbingly biased in what they select to cover (and not cover), and unnecessarily adds the slanted editorial viewpoints of reporters, editors and publishers in what they serve up to the public. WHILE unapologetically serving up the market brands and worldviews of their big corporate owners.

So the first major hurdle is to convince you, me, everyone that these vouchers will somehow make news entities - many of which are owned by the largest of the large multi-media corporations in existence around the globe today - to somehow improve both ethics and honesty?

Some maybes? Maybe (A) the entity, before receiving voucher money, agrees in advance to detach itself from corporate influence that corporate ownership nearly always brings? and / or (B) maybe the entity receiving the monies will be policed by the government, to ensure honesty and ethics, and detachment over undue influence?

Nope. Sorry. Frankly, none of this will happen. As the industry will deem it a violation of a freedom of the press.

Plus: To think to use the politician-written tax code, somehow, to bring people to support via vouchers the very industry that is reporting on those same politicians who wrote the tax code? Anyone else see the problem here???

So, end of the day: Without some proof that honesty and ethical practices will follow, why should any voter / taxpayer give the industry ANY money, without serious reforms? If the industry wants more voluntary-paid customers of their product, they should start reforming . . . or end up going the way of the dinosaur.

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Skeptical - beautifully put. The corporate and government-owned media only have themselves to blame for the loss of trust, as they lie, twist facts, omit uncomfortable information, or simply refuse to report news that opposes their financial and/or ideological interests (think the current farmers' protests, COVID shenanigans). Not an ounce of sympathy for them from me.

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This is very timely:


Left-leaning journalists are being particularly suppressed, particularly by Private Equity interests, case in point superb journalist Chris Hedges.

On a smaller and far more precarious scale, U.S. journalists have founded hundreds of small nonprofits across the country over the past decade to provide crucial public affairs coverage. However, most struggle mightily to generate enough revenues to even pay themselves and a few reporters a living wage.

Neo-feudal Corporatocracy working as intended.

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But of course,

The solution for nobody wanting to consume propaganda masquerading as journalism is....

To force taxpayers to subsidize that propaganda!!

Sure sounds like a great solution....

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Old joke: Were does a very rich person sit?

Anywhere he wants to.

In other words, how are you going to stop them?

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Teddy Roosevelt famously said "If you want to anger a conservative, tell him a lie. If you want to anger a liberal, tell him the truth"

MSM estimated it could remain profitable trying not to tell the truth to liberals, and it didn't work.

The truly intelligent who want the truth go to trusted podcasts with long form discussions, and individual journalists on X or substack.

Those who rail against these are sad, authoritarian trash who value the government gatekeepers and the comfortable lies they espouse.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Left-leaning journalists are being particularly suppressed,

Won't someone spare a dime for MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post etc, etc. ?

Keep them in your prayers tonight...

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For years, paywalls have been hailed as an alternative to advertising. While some news organizations have recently stopped requiring subscriptions or have created a tiered pricing system, how has this approach fared overall?

Well, it’s been a fantastic financial success for The New York Times and, actually, almost no one else – while denying millions of citizens access to essential news.

The paywall model has also worked reasonably well for The Wall Street Journal, with its assured audience of business professionals, though its management still felt compelled to make deep cuts in its Washington, D.C., bureau on Feb 1. And at The Washington Post, even 2.5 million digital subscriptions haven’t been enough for the publication to break even.

Funny these writers writing about the decline in print media but don’t understand the basics of a paragraph. I don’t know

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