What Internet needs is public money

In 1961, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Newton Minow famously told some TV executives: "When television is bad, nothing is worse."

Today, we're confronted with another medium gone bad - the Internet. We should bring on the break-up of big tech and the online privacy laws that are way overdue. But a healthy public sphere needs a healthy public media. We've built the equivalent for television and radio. Now it's time to do it for the Internet. The simplest way to proceed is to tax major tech companies to pay for better content. But Congress and the FCC could also take creative advantage of these services to get high-quality news and smart children's programming in front of all Americans.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 03, 2019, with the headline 'What Internet needs is public money'. Print Edition | Subscribe