Earlier this summer, two government agencies considered proposals that would lead to more government involvement in the media. The Federal Communications Commission looked into "net neutrality" proposals while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put forth a list of potential policy recommendations to support the "reinvention" of journalism.
This "reinvention" includes ideas like creating a journalism equivalent of AmeriCorps, giving tax credits to news organizations, handing out "news vouchers" to citizens, increasing funding for public radio and television and increasing postal subsidies for newspapers. This would be paid for in part by a new tax on electronics.
But some say this amounts to a journalism "bailout" and has the potential to control speech and slant news.
The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national non-profit journalism organization, has launched a petition to stop government involvement in the media business.
The group says on their website that if the government controls the media, "No longer will journalists be able to report credibly on stories that matter to the people but only on what matters to the elected officials. Journalists will ignore scandal and corruption for fear of losing government funds. They will become political flacks and write to appease the government instead of investigating it."
To sign the petition, visit www.StopGovernmentMedia.com.