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Don’t Save the Press

LJUBLJANA - Throughout history, political leaders have supported existing communication technologies in order to defend the system in which they rule. Today, too, governments may be tempted to protect newspapers and public TV on the pretext of “saving democracy as we know it.” But efforts to block technological change have been futile in the past, and they would be unwise today. Instead, the political system (and the media) must adapt to the new reality.

Faced with an existential crisis as new technologies lure away their readers and viewers, traditional news media – just like bankers, car manufacturers, and solar electricity producers – are increasingly turning to governments for help. But, such is the undertone, their cause is nobler. The media are a cornerstone of democracy. Left to the blogs and tweets, without journalists to report the news, how can citizens decide what politics to support?