Local journalism tax credit bad for newspapers, public

When is was quite younger I learned that the oft-used phrase, “The ends justify the means,” was attributed to Vladimir Lenin. Like many things these days, I don’t know if that is actually true or not. It’s hard to know what is actually true so I read several newspapers (mostly online), listen to the radio and watch TV news attempting to keep up.

Sunday’s Herald had an Associated Press story on a proposed $1.67 billion tax credit over five years for local news outlets including papers, TV, radio and digital sources. After all, there is a severe crisis, especially with local printed editions disappearing and shrinking opportunities for journalists.

Sounds good? No it doesn’t. To have the federal government subsidize independent journalism is flat-out wrong-headed thinking.

With the internet mega corporations securing unfettered control of advertising and thus news and information, the truth is also disappearing. Thus the crisis in printed news. We are fortunate that local advertising and subscriptions are keeping The Herald in business.

While tax credits and other forms of government subsidies are as American as apple pie, to do so with independent journalism would be only a half -step away from having “official state-owned media” and the truth would disappear forever!

Andy Branca

Camano Island

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