By Stephen Pate, NJN Network, Charlottetown, PEI Canada, January 27th, 2009
Bailouts are a dime a dozen these days. GM needs one in the US but doesn’t in Canada. Americans generally sneer at Canada for being “socialist”, especially the right wing commentators. The New Hampshire, student paper at University of New Hampshire, reports that France is supporting newspapers by giving 18 year-olds a free newspaper subscription. The students like the idea. That’s wrong-headed thinking. Industries in trouble, including newspapers, are mainly ones that didn’t see the change coming. Newspapers didn’t see the Internet, CNN, text messaging and RSS news feeds to cell phones. They thought everyone would always read the paper at the breakfast table, in traffic, on the subway or train, or first thing at work. Sorry, the world changed. News has to come faster, more up to date and it has to come on something you have in your pocket or on the wall. Newspapers saw this coming and thought they could ride out the change which they can’t. They need to change or die. It’s not taxpayer’s responsibility to support private industry that gets caught in technological or societal change. During their heydays, newspaper owners didn’t share their profits with us which is expected. Why should we support them now or any industry that is dying?