Never afraid of an ‘innovative’ idea, New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio says that he would prefer to see the state of New York invest in its own press. In other words, in order to get better press coverage, the distinctively leftist mayor of New York would like to ‘own the press’ and thus control the coverage himself. Mr De Blasio mentioned the UK’s BBC as ‘a good example.’
Mayor De Blasio stated: “I think it’s a really good question and one that intrigues me and one that I’d be open in seeing the city invest in.”
“Publicly sponsored, with appropriate grounds. The BBC model, not always perfect, but in the best sense, there’s definitely a place for that.”
He furthermore cited WNYC (the public radio station owned by the city of New York initially to make public broadcast announcements in 1922 until Mayor Rudy Giuliani thought such was no longer necessary and sold it in 1994) as an example of a broadcaster sponsored by the city of New York that operated quite successfully.
“Sure, the mayor named the head of WNYC, but that was a no-fly-zone in terms of political influence. You had to choose someone very much above the fray, using almost the same sensibilities we would think about naming judges, for example.”
Most political commentators though said that the city council owning the press would raise a whole bunch of red flags. Brooklyn College journalism Professor Paul Moses commented: “The idea of the city directly funding local news would always raise questions about the independence of a news operation.”
Ms Jarrett Murphy, executive editor and publisher of New York Magazine City Limits said: “I’m generally pretty skeptical of the idea because I think it opens the door for some issues, the credibility of the media is so important, and direct government funding could undermine that, I just don’t know if it’s a good idea.”