The Future of Mass Media
By Arnold Kling
Every country with ambitions on the international stage will soon have its own state-supported media.
…In addition, around the world, states will want to “help” their media. Not satisfied with what the free market is bringing about, politicians will offer to help out the invisible hand — help it, that is, with their own iron fist.
Almost four years ago, I wrote,
The newspaper business is going to die within the next twenty years. Newspaper publishing will continue, but only as a philanthropic venture.
It had not occurred to me that taxpayers would be a major source of the philanthropy needed to sustain mass media, but Pinkerton’s point seems correct.
One way to think of government is as a propaganda tool on behalf of itself. Mass media provide excellent vehicles for propaganda, so the model of politics as propaganda would predict high levels of government support. The inconvient truth is that we can expect in the future to see political PowerPoint presentations to be taxpayer funded. And you can be sure that government-sponsored media will not be telling us that we can get better education, health care, and retirement security without government.