Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch Talks Newspaper Bailouts on PJTV


Seventeen minutes on why companies that sell journalism on newsprint don't deserve bailouts, aren't the lifeblood of democracy, and won't begin to stanch their declines until getting rid of all vestiges of monopolistic thought.

Watch the whole thing above or here.

NEXT: "Liberaltarianism" in the Age of Obama

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  1. Newspapers don’t deserve bailouts for the same reason as any other business. If the people want newspapers, they’ll vote with their money to keep them around. If not, too bad. I’m sure some people miss any number of other outdated business models.


  2. Welch: Time to Bailout the Washington Post?

    (Matt is farming out making links to the commenters. 🙂 )

  3. Thanks for the link, Charles.

  4. Just goes to show how Matt Welch is interested in creating jobs!

  5. Ha! Thanks for the catch, and sorry for the screw-up.


    Totally ignore this if you want because it’s way off topic but I had to vent a minor frustration of mine, somewhere it would cause the least amount of inconvenience to people I vent it to:

    Today, I literally heard this dumbfuck bitch complain that she was getting cancer from standing in line behind someone who had “third-hand smoke” coming off her.


    /rant, go back to business as usual, sorry.

  7. Matt Welch,

    Thanks for all the “insider baseball” stuff on newspapers; it was quite interesting.

  8. I agree – there are better ways to save journalism – and it doesn’t include buying into failed businesses – but starting new ones.

    I’m working on a startup:

    I don’t claim it’ll save journalism – but I do think we need 1,000 other journo-startups. Together we can figure this out.

  9. The issue not addressed is whether or not direct dependence on government largess will make the dead tree news even more pro-government than they are now.


    They think that anything that has a name is real.

    Okay, maybe that’s more how they’re stupid, but you know what I mean.

    No one is without religion — or, at least, the demons of one.


  11. Good piece, but you’re no Joe Wurzelbacher. He would have know that ‘central European Post offices’ are actually private corporations these days.

    But seriously, the problem with the net for newspapers is not that people can read for free what they used to have to pay 50 cents a day or 2 bucks on a sunday; it’s that the advertisers are simply not paying as much for internet ads as they were for the print, right?. I always thought the economics of newspapers – at least the gen circ dailies- didn’t really care much about newsstand or even subscription prices. All this coin went directly back to the distro network. The revenue for the newspaper company itself was all about advertising – the real customers. I remember part of Kinsley’s comment about the economic insanity is that historically, there was absolutely no advertising on the editorial or oped page. So not only was it costing an arm and a leg, but also it wasn’t bringing in any cash.

    Hence, merge the trend of lower ad rates with general malaise curtailing marketing budgets economy-wide – and the specific classified ad implosion directly brought about by the net – and the newspaper industry in the same boat at the US automakers – nobody’s buying the product of any of the competitors either, but their businesses are particularly ill suited to weather the storm.

  12. There’a story on NPR today about Sarkozy wanting to give $800 million dollars to French newspapers. He wants to give every French teenager a subscription to a major daily.

  13. You have to admit the guy does bring up some very valid points!


  14. I wonder what anonymity guy’s ROI is on spending his whole day doing what he does.

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