You knew this was coming. Former Providence Journal reporter David Scharfenberg writes in the Boston Globe today that there should be a $100 million government bailout for journalism.
At least he’s not proposing taxpayer money for legacy media organizations such as the Journal or the Globe. Still, his survey of successful independent projects such as Pro Publica and Voice of San Diego suggests that his idea is a solution in search of a problem.
Maybe I’m just being paranoid. But I can’t imagine anything more contrary to the idea of watchdog journalism than funding it with government money.
Tax incentives? Maybe, and I’m going to wrestle with that idea in my column for the Guardian this week. But direct government aid? Never.
If you visit Voice of San Diego, you’ll see this: “an independent nonprofit.” Not if Scharfenberg’s idea catches on.