So if state-run media leads to propaganda, then the simple fix is for news orgs to be privately owned, right? Well, not really. Wanting journalism to be better than the ruling class’s mouthpiece is a bar lower than the Titanic’s liquor cabinet.
Just as pro-government pressure, whether ordered or inferred, can stain journalists’ honest efforts, private ownership can as well. Take, for example, The Washington Post, which, in August 2013 was the target of Jeff Bezos’s retail therapy.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, simply bought a leading newsroom for 250 million dollars.
If governments and wealthy financiers can’t be trusted to fund journalism, then that leaves one obvious choice — the workers. From the journalists, to the editors, to the delivery truck driver, all the way down to the old-timey orphans who huck papers in the city square, these are the people that should own their company.