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Newspaper Wants Tax on Broadband to Save Failing Newspapers
$3 Per Broadband User Reward for Failure to Adapt
by Karl Bode 09:11AM Thursday Sep 27 2012
Like the recording industry, the newspaper industry has struggled to adapt to the new broadband age, and spends more than a little time blaming everyone other than themselves for the latency. UK newspaper The Guardian thinks it has a novel solution: applying a tax on all broadband users (no more than £2 a month insists author David Leigh) which is then given to the newspaper industry as a subsidy. That will supposedly save papers, improve journalism, all people will magically read quality content, and the world will be saved.

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Why reward the newspaper industry for failure to adapt to modern technology? Because people aren't paying for papers and someone really ought to force them to, insists Leigh:
People willingly pay this money to a handful of telecommunications companies, but pay nothing for the news content they receive as a result, whose continued survival is generally agreed to be a fundamental plank of democracy. A £2 levy on top – collected easily from the small number of UK service providers (BT, Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk etc) who would add it on to consumers' bills – would raise more than £500m annually. It could be collected by a freestanding agency, on the lines of the BBC licence fee, and redistributed automatically to "news providers" according to their share of UK online readership.
You'll note the logic isn't much different from the entertainment industry, who has long tried (and failed) to argue that broadband connections should be taxed to counter piracy. Legacy companies with problems with adaptation (especially the older folks at those companies) always seem to assume that they're entitled to cash and other rewards simply because things changed, they didn't like the change, and therefore refused to adapt.

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Evans, GA

2 recommendations

reply to drew

Re: Business Plan

I think the first thing that needs to be addressed is the profession of journalism. Something needs to change. It used to be about getting the story out first (breaking the news coverage), and then "asking the tough questions". With the advent of the blogosphere, reporters cannot be the first to break the news story, so they run with whatever is going viral and try to be the first to either "ask the tough question" or "sensationalize it into entertainment". I'd like to see the profession of journalism step back from being the "first to break the news" and return to fact-checking and closing up the headlines and viral videos.

The news media could do with more analysts and fewer "reporters" in my opinion, especially given the mass group-think that goes on. The network that can provide the most complete picture of "what is going on" will be top dog... the rest will be regarded as equal to tabloid media operations. I'd pay a monthly fee for credible analysis... but the industry hasn't demonstrated proficiency in this regard yet.

As this money dries up, we'll see more polarization of media outlets as each seeks political favor in hopes of a guaranteed bottom line. This country is extremely paparazzi friendly, so we might also see that cancer experience some rapid growth.
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Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Kitchener, ON

2 recommendations


What is the expression? Everything you read in the newspaper is true, except those things that you have first hand knowledge of.

Reporting has gone to the dogs. It is inaccurate, sensationalism that mimics The World Weekly News.

You wanna sell papers? Make sure it's accurate. Make sure to check spelling and grammar. And when you make a correction the next day, don't be so vague on which your are apologizing for. "The actual name of the person was Mark Taninski, inaccurate information was printed yesterday. We apologize for this." What? What the hell are we talking about?

Sad thing is, if the UK does this, it will eventually migrate its way over here.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein