Posner : Put the Kibosh on the Internet

Friday, July 3, 2009
Posted in category Media

The old dinosaur, Richard Posner, comes up with his best material yet.

“The bloggers are parasitical on the conventional media,” Posner wrote. “They copy the news and opinion generated by the conventional media, often at considerable expense, without picking up any of the tab. The degree of parasitism is striking in the case of those blogs that provide their readers with links to newspaper articles. The links enable the audience to read the articles without buying the newspaper.”

His solution is to make linking on the Internet illegal. As much as you want to laugh, this idea has been picking up some steam for a few years now. Here’s Posner’s unhinged post at the Becker-Posner blog. He laments the decline of pro-establishment, old-guard newspaper media, and essentially his aim is to protect the industry and insure its continuation, in spite of the fact that the market has made its choice by rejecting stale, state media organs in favor of online content. Posner adds:

I am pessimistic about a recovery by the newspapers. One reason is the current economic situation. A serious, protracted economic crisis can result in changes in consumer behavior that persist after the end of the crisis. A change in consumption, even in some sense involuntary, can be a learning experience. People make what they think will be merely temporary adjustments in their consumption behavior to reduce financial distress but may discover that they like elements of their new consumption pattern; and businesses too, which have reduced their newspaper (and other print-media) ad expenditures drastically. They may never go back.

Posner laments the modernization of media, but more so, he despises the freedom, spontaneity, and lack of barriers to entry on the Internet. The state hates that the Internet lacks information gatekeepers, thereby undermining its propaganda spread through the slew of state-regulated media outlets.

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3 Responses to Posner : Put the Kibosh on the Internet

  1. Paul says:

    July 3rd, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    The last time I even held a newspaper was about five years ago. I enjoy being able to get news from more sources and varied opinions online. I think most people enjoy this flexibility, which is why newspapers and magazines will continue their decline. Also, you can get most if not all the exact same content from online versions of newspapers without the added cost.

  2. Robin says:

    July 3rd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I’ve avoided newspapers for over a decade, not just for their Left-Liberal / Neocon propaganda spin but also for their dumbed-down content, vocabulary, and writing style. To take them seriously, I’d have to suffer major amnesia in economics and history. Even the lighter stuff is pretty lame. Periodically, my well-meaning mother shows me articles from the Houston Chronicle about gardening or saltwater fishing (two hobbies of mine). The paucity of information and the juvenile cuteness in tone invariably make them an annoying waste of time.

    When these rags go the way of the dodo, I say good riddance!

  3. Richard Nikoley says:

    July 5th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Never have had a newspaper subscription in my life, never will. The notion of doing what my parents and grandparents did — read the paper over breakfast every morning — seemed strange and, even abhorrent to me, even as a kid.

    There was nothing explicit or intellectual in that feeling — it was just a sense. Bt now, I understand it to be just the daily indoc.

    In my travels, I used to occasionally buy a copy of the International Herald Tribune, which I always had a fondness for, particularly for its international flavor.

    Posner makes a critical error. The reason the mainstream is doing what it’s doing, providing free access for bloggers to link to is because they are competing with bloggers, not the other way around.

    If they didn’t exist, more bloggers would do original news reporting, and they’d foot the bill.

    PS: Said it in email, Karen, but nice job on the makeover.

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