For republicans, the nearly instantaneous no platforming of Alex Jones represents an ominous sign of things to come: the left is gunning for free speech and not holding back.
Republians can, however, politely correct for this issue of private speech (as Alex Jones wasn’t barred in any public forum). Republicans should retaliate in kind with their own self-imposed Twitter ban. Specifically, they should leave, or spend less time on, social media and help revive the dying print journalism market.
Why Promote Print Journalism?
Although such a move may initially appear patently unhip with the technological times, it does carry a strategic appeal over mass media. Specifically, working to revive the dying print journalism market–especially at the state and local levels–helps show that Republicans are truly concerned with peoples’ well-being. State and local newspapers give voice to unheard Americans and the local causes they care about.
Moreover, local and regional newspapers create meaning in politics. By relaying details about local concerns and promoting regional happenings, these newspapers foster a deep sense of community closeness that most Americans today are sadly lacking.
On the other hand, mega press-corps, the DC media complex, and their social media proxies have an opposite effect. These organizations work, perhaps even unintentionally, to demean and polarize politics. For them, big money depends on it. The New York Times, for instance, received a 19 percent increase in digital advertising in 2017, no doubt in large part because of Trump’s almost naive willingness to play political bad guy.
By turning every event into partisan shouting match, the journalist elite are able to reap big profits. This is true even as Americans become disenchanted with politics and, ultimately, the world they live in.
The Hard Copy Advantage
Likewise, consider the specific advantages state and local newspapers–actual physical newspapers, instead of their fake e-copies–present over social media, e-news, and televised political theater.
- Greater retention and comprehension while reading. Studies prove students learn better by reading print over electronic material.
- The curbing of online trolling. The newspaper format deters columnists and commentators from writing rude remarks, as their words are forever enshrined in print.
- Better coverage of state and local politics. There are only approximately 355 newspaper staff covering state capitals. Local politicians are now more likely to get away with nefarious behavior without threat of journalistic blowback.
- A public forum that discourages the abuse of visual rhetoric. Too often, viral media relies on misleading photos and cropped videos. The prudent use of words–which are essential to any action in our human world–is indispensable in politics. However, it has become neglected by our current obsession with pretty pictures and iconic images.
- A greater sense of historical worth and well-being. What’s printed literally carries more gravitas or weight and, hence, carries a greater sense of importance. Accordingly, political analysis is not only more likely to be treated as being more valuable, but is likely to be written with greater coherence, more salience, and less mind fattening partisan filler.
These, then, are the advantages a return to print journalism–especially at the state and local levels–offer. A move to support more state and local newspapers is not only politically prudent, but an enhancement of our sense of national well-being.
Once Republicans return to their state and local roots, problems like Alex Jones go away for good. Leftists will likely continue to silence Republicans. So now, it’s time to make our voice heard where it counts: in print.