Yet another post about the future of journalism

In a post today Ezra Klein proposed that newspapers should be heavily subsidized by the government. I've never liked the idea of government control of newspapers, but this argument is pretty convincing. It wouldn't mean that all news would be controlled by the government, but there would be "public newspapers" that survive through subsidies. 
Thankfully, society has developed models for funding things we deem important but don't entirely trust to the private market. We have public universities and public centers for disease research and public firefighting departments and a public military and public roads. Why should news be different?

You can argue that it must be oppositional to government, of course, and so government funding is a conflict of interest. But many European countries have solved that problem by developing automatic funding structures free of government influence. Meanwhile, it's not as if NPR or the BBC seem particularly concerned about criticizing their respective governments (nor, for that matter, do professors at public universities seem particularly cowed).
Whatever the outcome, it can't be worse than the crap that the Washington Post tried to pull or ugly advertisements and advertorials on the front pages of our favorite newspapers. 

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