Asia. If you’re anything like me, a young soon-to-be college graduate, you know that Asia is important but just not quite how important. I mean, we are hearing about North Korea daily and just today the Department of Defense announced they would be sending missiles to Guam because of the threats. As I am writing this, I’ve gotten a CNN update that North Korea has issued another nuclear threat.
There has been a growing popular interest in Asia for a while, though. Myanmar announced that after years of a state run news agency, they would be opening up the presses to independent organizations. If you’re really interested, the AP is looking to set up a bureau there. Go ahead and apply.
While attending a lecture by David Sanger of the New York Times at TCU, Sanger made the argument that how the Obama administration handles Asia will be more important than how they handled the Middle East. Let’s face it, the Middle East has been in turmoil since before the Romans set up shop and stormed the Temple.
Earlier in the talk, someone asked if the threats from North Korea were real concerns. Sanger has lived in the area before and said that these threats would fade. North Korean leadership is young and he is probably just getting his feet under him.
So I asked, “how do we as young journalist get people to care and become knowledgeable about Asia when our timely element will run out?”
My answer I got was really a non-answer. Sanger said it had to be broken down to selling more news. He mentioned how some sites are starting a pay wall.
But what stuck out to me was the UK’s news tax, called the BBC tax. It should be noted I tried to research the tax and could not find it on the magic of the interwebs. Still, citizens pay a news tax.
I was a bit shocked. How would that work? Does it require independent news? Does it allow it? How does that not become the child that gets punished when it says bad things about its parent? I’m really not sure how this would work. As a colleague of mine said, that sounds a bit like communism.
Still. Part of the issue with news today is how unhappy and distrusting people are of the media. They just do not see it as something that is trying to help and educate. Could a news tax help? I’m really not sure. On one hand, news would finally have e resources it’s lacking since newspapers are not dying, but having difficulty selling ads. On the other hand, this system easily lends itself to PR.
So what do you think? A news tax? I know that it is difficult to get Congress to work together so let’s not focus on that. Focus on the idea of taxing people in order to get them the news. What do you think?