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Many citizens don't like to fund political parties with the result that in most countries, they are mostly privately funded by donations or party fund-raising activities.  This also means that the political process is wide open to bribery and corruption private influences to the detriment of the common good.

Is there a valid comparison with content publishing?  If readers refuse to pay for (subscribe) for content directly, is there a danger that those volume producers of content which remain will have their content increasingly determined by the agendas of their owner/advertisers/corporate partners to the detriment of good disinterested public discourse?

Of course advertisers/owners have always had a strong influence, but with the decline of the subscription model, will this influence become all consuming?  Or is there a fundamental dis-functionality in relying on commercial entities to do the job of public information dissemination that can only be addressed through state broadcasters such as the BBC and more "official" publications, gazettes, websites etc. and of course through civil society foundations?

How can the dominating influences of "special interests": commercial, political, the MIC ETC. be reduced? Or is that what the internet is all about - the democratisation of information through direct peer to peer communications and with intermediary organisations increasingly being cut out of the loop?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 5th, 2010 at 08:51:06 AM EST
The flipside is that the cost of reporting on various issues (including editorial oversight) ... once it is freed from the scale economies of the printing press ... can be sustained by a smaller level of subscription. Many people are unwilling to pay for lightly edited AP content  ... but how many are unwilling to pay is beside the point. The critical question is whether a sufficient are willing to pay for reporting, and how to get in touch with them to make the offer.

It is likely to be new organizations who will discover the answer to those questions.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 11th, 2010 at 11:33:47 PM EST
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