Government to Save Failing Newspapers?

It almost sounds like a never ending story, but we are looking at discussions of more governmental intervention into private business. A Democrat from Connecticut, Frank Nicastro wants the government to bailout one of the states failing newspapers.

From Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty. But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.

Nicastro represents Connecticut’s 79th assembly district, which includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days, along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.

That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot afford to keep them open anymore.

Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and petitioned the state government to do something about it. “The media is a vitally important part of America,” he said, particularly local papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio stations.

So…what we are looking at here is the possibility for the state to control the media and the content that is expressed to the people of the state.

I know that they will say “That would never happen” but I find that hard to believe. And the reason that I can find that hard to believe is because they are politicians. They will use the leverage created by bailing out a news company and exert influence on the company to do what the politician sees fitting.

This is a horrible precedent to start by bailing out the news. It doesn’t matter if a few news agencies fail, because there will always be something to take its place. Why do you think I have a website?

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