Labor MP Calls For Taxpayer-Funded Newspapers

At a time where technology through the internet has broken down barriers to entry, and people's news consumption and access to diverse points of views is greater than ever, Dr Andrew Leigh, the Federal MP for Fraser, is today arguing for taxpayer funding for newspapers to promote "quality journalism".

That's right, according to Dr. Leigh, the fact that Australians are choosing to vote with their wallets and deserting the type of media he likes (such as Fairfax) means that the government has to force taxpayers to subsidies his particular preference.

Of course, having governments fund newspapers, should be an affront to not only taxpayers, but anyone who believes in free speech and a fair press, however, Dr Leigh tries to justify himself by saying he is "inclined to think that the benefit of a better-informed public would be likely to justify the cost of the subsidy". Such an argument, essentially "Australians are too stupid to choose for themselves what to read so we must force them to do so" is insulting at worst, and laughable at best. To say Australians are deprived of quality journalism in their newspapers may well be true. The fact that companies such as Fairfax have had a share price plummet and hardly any readers left is testament to Australians  choosing to reject their low-brow soft-left propaganda masquerading as journalism. The solution to this problem, however, isn't to force taxpayers to subsidise something that has clearly failed. Throwing more taxpayer money at a failed business model might make Dr Leigh popular at elite cocktail parties, and will certainly be popular with newspaper executives who are driving their companies into the ground, but it will only make matters worse - and at great cost to the taxpayer.

It is an utter disgrace that someone like Dr Leigh - who, in a past life, was a relatively well regarded economist, has now stooped so low.

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