What the "media reformers" get half right.

Media criticism.
Jan. 16 2007 6:43 PM

What the "Media Reformers" Get Right

Well, 50 percent right.

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A totalitarian state would have gotten a similarly low number of new entries if its ministry of communications decided to "reform" its newspaper-licensing practices along the same lines: No new papers in the biggest cities; no high-circulation papers; no profit-taking; and no owning more than one.

I know this will cause the reformistas' heads to explode, but I've got to write it: What's preventing low-power FM from flourishing as a genuine alternative to big media is not too much capitalism, but too little. I'll return to this "not too much, but too little" telecommunications theme in a future column.


Addendum, Jan. 18: For more of my capitalist prescription for the airwaves, see this "Press Box" sequel.


My head: Slightly caffeinated. Yours? Send e-mail to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

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Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.