Andrew Coyne: It’s when you read details of media bailout that the chill sets in

National Post

It is considered that when you get to read the details of the rescue of the media, there is a certain chill. So if you were not careful, you may have missed it, a short article of 160 words, put into the budget, labeled as Canadian journalism support.

It basically deals with a summary of the measures already announced in the November Fall Economic Statement: a labor cost subsidy for journalism organizations, a tax credit/subsidy for digital news subscribers, and a charitable tax status for organizations of news that are registered as non-profit organizations. Only if I returned even more, to an annex marked in Fiscal Measures: Supplementary Information, I would find the details. However, if you were to discover it, it would be how a bad idea in principle would probably be infinitely worse in practice.

Objections to the government

It is not a secret the diverse objections that exist with respect to which the government is put in the game to prop up the organizations of failed news. This would create a true conflict of permanent and inescapable interests. It will undoubtedly take root that newspapers worry less about attracting readers than about grant recipients. In the same way, it will cause a great dependence on the government while in itself, it will not solve any problem. In fact, encouraged to postpone the treatment of such problems.

It is necessary to point out the most powerful objection and that, as the government can not rescue everyone, since in the age of the Internet, what used to be a small and orderly constellation of newspapers and other media, has become a vast universe of what could possibly be called news organizations: Inevitably, we must decide who will receive their blessing and who will not.

Likewise, regardless of whether the prime minister or his appointees do so directly, whether the preference is based on partisanship, ideology, connections or mere concern, it is not an appropriate role for government in a democracy.

Source: Andrew Coyne | National Post

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