Media vouchers on Equality-by-Lot

March 15, 2010

I posted on Equality-by-Lot a short critique of the proposal by McChesney and Nichols of financing public news media by distributing “media vouchers”. My message in a nutshell is that vouchers are like elections while what would be useful would be a sortition-like system.

It is interesting that McChesney and Nichols would promote a voucher system for news media, while as Lefties they are probably opposed to the vouchers idea in the context of education. I have not read the entire book but neither in the interview on The Real News Network nor in the excerpt I read on Google books do they offer an explanation of what are the differences between those two areas that make them think vouchers work in one but not in the other, and why they do not suggest a system that mimics that public education system. The two areas are sufficiently different so that an argument can surely be made – but it is rather surprising that they do not make an explicit case.

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One Response to “Media vouchers on Equality-by-Lot”

  1. peterstone Says:

    Well, one potential difference is that there is a concern for diversity in the media that is less present when it comes to education. There’s nothing obviously crazy about the idea of a public school system that serves all students. But I don’t think any of us would want to have exactly one national newspaper and/or television station. Even countries with public school systems more rigorously controlled by the national government (like France) have many media sources, both public and private. I guess McChesney and Nichols want to retain–even enhance–that diversity, something that doesn’t concern them in the school case.

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