Can Ya Spare 120 Dimes?
"News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything
else is advertising." - Ex-NBC news president Rubin Frank
local paper is teh suxors.
Its management is often hilariously, mostly tragically, eyebrow
deep in the odious, mucusoidal goo of Conservative methodology.
They will slice off their nose
to spite the public face even when caught with both hands
deep in the ideological cookie jar, which coincidentally
just happens to be full of amputated noses.
For the better part of my life
I wished them nothing but a hasty, painful demise but
the very real possibility of an America bereft of newspapers it's
time to stick up for even the worst of them. We need our
local papers, and even if their version of the news contains
more bias than Edith
closet at least it's still possible to read between the slant
and ferret out a nugget of occasional truth.
So I have an answer. It's imprecise and embryonic but it's
food for thought:
Charge each user of the internet $1 a month, a fee that is
to be evenly divided among our nation's newspapers.
Before you start bellyaching about paying for news you don't
read allow me to remind you that if you have cable TV you're
paying almost $1 a month for the worst, most propagandistic
news organization in the history of America... Fox News.
Yes, it's true. Seventy-five cents of your monthly cable
bill is currently paying for scumbags like Bill O'Reilly,
Glen Beck and Karl Rove. That's almost
in Rupert Murdoch's pocket and I'll bet most of you suckers
didn't even realize it.
Now that you're sufficiently incensed, or at least I hope
you are, back to my idea.
According to Internet World Stats the United States has over
250 million internet users.
Even if there's only one-third that many actual internet
accounts the sum total for a year of $1 fees would amount
to about a billion dollars. Spread over the remaining 1400,
or so, papers in the U.S. that comes to about a million bucks
a year per paper. The money would be evenly allocated on
a reporter-to-circulation ratio. This might even result in
new newspapers hitting the streets.
Being part of this program would also require a paper to
shift its news to an online format as aggresively as possible,
that can be accessed anywhere by a computer or by something
amazon.com's amazing Kindle.
The less trees in the equation, the better.
This is admittedly not a perfect idea,
just a tasty nugget of an hypothesis to chew on. People much
smarter than me concerning
the newspaper biz would be better at assessing the best
way to implement this notion.
Is this idea fair to online news organizations like huffingtonpost.com,
talkingpointsmemo.com or dailykos.com? No, but we can work