Subsidizing Speech to Help the News Media

Subsidizing Speech to Help the News Media

NewsjpgThe idea of government providing tax incentives to help support the news media was raised recently in The Atlantic. It’s not a far fetched idea. Government has subsidized a number of businesses to encourage their growth and if they are in the national interest. The purchase of electric vehicles, solar energy farms and installation, farm subsidies and wind energy come to mind. There are many more. The idea, in The Atlantic presented by John Wihbey, is for government to offer tax-free status to media start ups, in particular local news media start ups. He cites the dire situation the news media is undergoing and how important an independent news media is to our system of government. His point is that it is a national necessity to have a well-functioning news media as a structural balance to government overreach and misdeeds. Subsidizing speech has appeal, but also raises many concerns. What might the limitation be that are placed on subsidized speech? Is the news media evolving into something that will be stronger than what it has been in the past without subsidy? Mr. Wihbey’s idea has merit and is well worth a national discussion, which we give credit to The Atlantic for beginning.