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I don't know if you've actually thought your logic through to completion.

You claim that you would "never consider paying for a news site", because it'll just get re-posted somewhere else.

I urge you to think and reflect on what you've just claimed.

Investigative journalism costs money. Going out and interviewing people, or taking photographs costs money. Digging through old archives, or filing Freedom of Information requests to your local government body costs money.

If everybody stops doing that - what exactly are you going to re-post? Kim Kardashian's selfie feed? Cute photos of cats?

WSJ and NYT do journalism - you may not agree with everything they write, but let's be honest, they do real, honest-to-goodness journalistic work. I have a lot of respect for their craft - they're what keeps companies and politicians honest as well, so I see them as essentially to a functional democracy.

Or let's put it closer to home - we techies complain that a lot of news content is just PR puff-pieces from hardware/software companies.

Well, sites like IDW, Anandtech, Phoronix, Engadget, Artstechnica - they do actual reporting, they go out and buy components and test them etc. That costs money.

By your argument, you refuse to pay because somebody will just re-post it - yeah, but somebody has to do the original work. So you are basically spiting the hand that feeds you




> If everybody stops doing that - what exactly are you going to re-post?

An issue is that for a high quality investigative story, say the Boston Globe's story about how the catholic church covered up abuse by priests for years, is that although it is expensive to produce, and interesting, it is difficult for me to quantify how I should value it. I'm neither from Boston, nor catholic, so in a sense that story is completely irrelevant to me. It's going to be the same with most stories, i.e. they're highly likely to be irrelevant to an individual.

The bigger issue is that the conclusion to your argument is that we should be obliged to pay for investigative journalism. I would argue that if society as a whole benefits from something, but an individual doesn't, then it should be the government's responsibility to support it. The BBC seems to work well, and maybe something like that could work on a state-level in the US.


I have a hard time trusting the impartiality of a government-funded news service.


Most countries, at least in the west, have high quality government funded news services.


Would you be comfortable with the only investigative journalism being carried out by the government?

Sure, the BBC (British) or ABC (Australia) model seems to work well - but there's been funding spats in the past.

It's not that hard to imagine a world where the Prime Minister thinks "These silly ivory-tower journalists are just using their rag to rail on me! Why the heck am I signing off on more funding. Cutbacks!".

That and there's many countries where I'd rather an independent journalistic service.




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