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Government to decide its role in U.S. media

According to Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman-CA, the government needs to step in and reshape the way America gets its news.

Now that the elections are over, many news outlets are struggling to make a profit and the plethora of websites that provide news has put a dent in the traditional main stream media, many of which are now begging for a government bailout.

Waxman claims that quality journalism is an essential process for U.S. democracy and argued that it was the duty of government to step in and prop up failing newspapers. However, many disagree with Waxman’s assessment of lagging newspapers, namely Fox News and talk radio in general. If one believes in the free-market capitalism model and a product no longer wanted by the public at large – the product fails.

Nobody will argue the media leans left in overwhelming numbers and since the country is a center right crowd, perhaps news organizations should tweak their product to reflect a true American market.

“Eventually government is going to have to be responsible to help and resolve these issues,” Waxman told a U.S. Federal Trade Commission conference on the future of journalism.

Free Press, a public interest organization, said “the search for solutions to the crisis in journalism should be premised on the idea that news-gathering is a public service, not a commodity.”

Also it’s worth pointing out that with the advent of the internet and the need for up-to-the minute news, the old newspaper model is becoming obsolete. In addition to the historic nature of the 2008 elections, there was a lot of news generated that cable outlets are no longer able to produce a profit. Voters have since left the television and gone back to business as usual.

On the table for discussion is giving media moguls the ability to purchase newspapers even though they own television broadcasts, however, this would consolidate a monopoly on a perspective on how viewers receive news. Waxman stated he was wary about allowing this to happen in greater numbers.

“Even greater consolidation of the business has not helped,” Waxman finished.

Perhaps media should start looking into the news Americans would like to read about and follow in the steps of outlets like Fox and talk radio that have enjoyed enormous rating increases with a center-right platform.

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