Thursday, January 1, 2009

Former McClatchy editor: "The government needs to bail out newspapers!"

In a Reuters report covering a bid by some lawmakers in Connecticut to bail out troubled newspapers, a former executive editor of McClatchy's Miami Herald is quoted as saying the government has an obligation to preserve newspapers.
Former Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler said that a democracy has an obligation to help preserve a free press.

"I truly believe that no democracy can remain healthy without an equally healthy press," said Fiedler, now dean of Boston University's College of Communication. "Thus it is in democracy's interest to support the press in the same sense that the human being doesn't hesitate to take medicine when his or her health is threatened."
Fiedler, who once referred to Cuban exiles criticizing the Miami Herald as “Chihuahuas,” left the Herald in 2007.

A newspaper bailout is one of the dumbest ideas to come down the pike. Michelle Malkin says it better than anybody: Say No to Newspaper Bailouts. (Photo: AP/Bill Cooke)
Hat tip: Archer05
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Anonymous said...

The philosophy that a healthy democracy requires a healthy free press is true.

However, how "free" will it be able to be if that "free press" is being run with government funds. Somewhere in the far background will be some sort of a governmental overseer.

McClatchy Watch said...

Anonymous 9:51 -- If the govt funds the "free press" that is supposed to be the watchdog, imagine the results.

Dem politicians will mandate a certain percentage of news articles be devoted to global warming and "green" issues; they'll mandate newsrooms meet diversity quotas; they'll demand the "free press" cover other pet Dem issues.

Anonymous said...

The press is no longer "free." It's agenda/party driven and has long harbored bias and subjectivity. It's become a disgrace and McClatchy is among the most disgraceful examples. The Obama book seals the deal.

Anonymous said...

Who knows.... a publicly supported newspaper might be just as objective as NPR or even PBS.

They could put Bill Moyers in charge.

Dave D. said...

...But the Dims already own the press. Why do they want to buy it twice ?

Anonymous said...

It's payback time. The mainstream liberal press has carried the water for Obama and the Dems. for years. They ran into trouble when conservatives discovered alternative sources of news, ie the inter-net and Fox News. The papers lost subscribers in droves. Why pay for something that offends and insults you day after day?
The other problem is that young, hip, liberals don't have a reading habit, or wouldn't be caught dead reading a paper. They get their news from MTV and Comedy Central. Thus no subscribers to replace the conservatives. Now it's only right in the papers sense of justice to get bailed out by the very people they promoted.

Archer05 said...

Anon. - 11:03 AM
You expressed my thoughts perfectly, even better actually. I forgot about Bill Moyers, and his ridiculous pretense of being a rational, political pundit.

I would have gotten worked up about such a jerk being paid by taxpayers, but I felt sorry for the McClatchy boys in the backroom. NPR and PBS are required indoctrination before barroom war bunker, and coffee klatch duty.

We might as well name this sucker now.
PB&J - Public Backstabbing & Journalism
(Has PB&J been used already?)

Anonymous said...

“Bailout fatigue” is growing even in the liberal voter base. Politicians won’t roll the dice on a Newspaper bailout, outside of any Constitutional augments, because the whining masses just don’t care about newspapers.

We don’t see any labor groups crying that dying Newspapers will collapse the economy.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware we had a free press in this country - I thought newspapers were all controlled by the Democratic Party.

Anyone who doesn't believe this will become a major issue is deluding themselves. There are too many powerful parties involved - major corporations, unions and Democrats.

Les Weatherford / said...

I read the Reuters report and have no idea what Mr. Fiedler's remarks mean. That's not necessarily Mr. Fiedler's fault; it's probably more the fault of a sloppy editor letting a lazy reporter get away with slipping in a vague but perceived obligatory quote from the academic world.