From the 1st December 1913 when Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line for the mass production of cars the fate of the horse-drawn carriage was sealed.
As automobiles proliferated there was no government intervention or review on the future of the horse-drawn carriage because everyone realised that their demise was inevitable.
Fast forward to the present and the Prime Minister has announced a review into our printed press which will investigate funding models to ensure the continuation of high-quality national and regional journalism. This is of course a complete waste of tax payer’s money.
So, what was the catalyst for the review, was it as the Prime Minister said that the loss of newspapers are “dangerous for our democracy”. Or as she also said, “when trusted and credible news sources decline, we can become vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy”.
Neither of the above. The loss of the printed press is an inexorable event but making noises that may slow the process down will result in favourable press comment.
Newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch like the Sun and the Times have reported falling revenue and losses. As a result, he has demanded that Google, Facebook and other social media companies should pay “carrier’s fees” to his publications for providing “authoritative news.”
The last thing a government needs is a hostile press and if it can get Rupert Murdoch onside by spending taxpayers money, why not?