We have been puzzling for years about how to subsidise journalism once it makes the final transition from print to net (see here and here and here). One obvious model is the funding of the BBC through its licence fee.Well, speak for yourself, Mr Greenslade. I have not been puzzling about it at all.
I do know that various media and other outlets have been working out how to make the internet pay and have come to various, mostly unsatisfactory answers. One solution would be a pay wall on all newspapers and news sites but that is not a viable one as long as the tax-subsidized BBC can pump huge amounts of money into its own site without needing to charge consumers.
Mr Greenslade now proposes a similar arrangement for all or some newspapers on line (well, actually, he is repeating a solution proposed by one of his colleagues, David Leigh) and that is a levy on all broadband users to distribute in some unexplained fashion between various hacks on the net because the world cannot manage without them. There are, he acknowledges, some practical problems around but he is sure they can be overcome.
At a time when ever more people are beginning to realize that the BBC's fiscal model is unjust, ridiculous and out of date, it takes some doing to propose a similar one for all journalists. I am delighted to say that the comments make short work of Mr Greenslade's arguments.