Congress, most likely at the behest of the newspaper industry, is debating ways to keep newspapers alive.
There are some excellent conversations on the topic ... going on right now (YAHOO, FORBES, HUFFPO, HUFFPO). But the short story is that they're considering tax breaks for papers, considering allowing non-profit status for papers, and considering subsidies for papers.
Newspaper journalism is an essential part of a functioning democracy, say the men in the blue suits and red ties, and because it's so essential, the Government should consider stepping in to keep it alive.
It's an interesting notion ... macro-community support to keep independently owned media alive ... and it made me wonder: should the outdoor industry be considering the same thing?
Should OIA be looking at an emergency ad buy this summer? Something that would throw a lifeline to the media that is hard hit during the downturn?
What if Outdoor Retailer reached deep and bought a few ad pages in some of our "essential" media outlets -- possibly bridging the difference between survival of a key promoter of outdoor activities and their permanent disappearance?
Should AFFTA be doing the same thing in fly fishing? Would an SIA ad buy have helped Powder owners from going bankrupt last month? What about Interbike dropping a few back covers in the rapidly disappearing bike rags?
Or should we stay the laissez-faire course? Should we take a more conservative, a more Republican position, and let the chips fall as the may, let our media outlets fail, and let the market decide what we need?