Sunday, July 21, 2019

Even before first bailout dollar arrives, newspaper industry holds out its hand for more: Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne writes:
“Before long,” I gloomily predicted in November of last year, when the government first unveiled its plans to bail out the newspaper industry, “we will be back for more.”
I had thought two, maybe three years – after we had gotten used to taking money from the people we write about and had discovered that, far from solving our problems, it had only encouraged us to put off dealing with them. I had not imagined our sense of entitlement would already have grown so bloated that we would be sticking out our hands for more even before we had pocketed the first dollar.
And yet there it is, on page after page of the report of the coven of industry supplicants — sorry, “independent panel of experts” – the government retained to advise it how best to shower $600 million of public funds on them. Ostensibly the panel’s purpose was to fill in the details: what sorts of publications should be accredited as Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations, for example, making them eligible for the government lolly, or how to define terms such as “journalist,” never previously the subject of state regulation. (“Journalistic principles” include, if you were wondering, “a practice or correcting errors,” sic.)
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