The suggestion that subsidizing newspapers will save serious journalism assumes that the declining circulation, and declining number of newspapers, is a direct result of increasing costs and the profit motives of corporate owners. Subsidizing the New York Times, Boston Globe or any other threatened paper is not likely to have any significant effect. Would the LA Times sell any more papers if the copy price were halved? The decline in newspaper circulation reflects the consumers' unfortunate demand for an entertaining and superficial news-like product. Is it likely that the popularity of the screaming heads like Limbaugh, Olberman and their colleagues will be affected one way or the other because of the continued existence of the county's leading newspapers? Whether we like it or not, journalism is as likely to be cheapened in the digital age as any other media. Those of us with discriminating tastes will always have some sources of serious reporting and opinion provided by the Internet.
Local newspapers deal with issues and events having immediate and serious consequences in their communities. Appearances to the contrary, there are some limits to federal financial resources. How would they accommodate the needs of the Pleasant Valley Weekly and the Cleveland Plain Dealer?