Subsidizing journalism

Some people have a profound perception that American journalism is in severe crisis (and consequently so is our form of self-governance).

A couple of experts (a college professor and a political blogger) argue that the U.S. government should put up tens of billions of dollars to subsidize journalism in order to save our "democracy".  They claim that those who founded this country would insist on such subsidies. Further support for subsidy, they say, is found in the historical precedents of public television and the U.S. Postal Service's discounted mailing rate for newspapers (about to end, if it hasn't already).

I can't support this idea yet. I keep stopping at the market. Is there a market for good journalism? Or does it seem there's a more vibrant and thriving market for trivia? I'll likely have more comments about that later.

Meanwhile, Robert McChesney's and Jon Nichols' book ("The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin The World Again") was published in early 2010, and cuts to the chase regarding why journalism might be important enough to throw scads of money at it (they're talking $30 billion).  The very first sentence of the introduction: "America was called into being by a journalist." (yes, a journalist probably would have used the active voice). I'm having a hard time finding it in Phoenix, and I don't see it available for download (sigh).  Maybe soon.

--mw