There’s a Solution to the Local News Crisis—Just Ask This Founding Father

From a story on by Steven Waldman headlined “There’s Already a Solution to the Crisis of Local News. Just Ask This Founding Father.”

Those concerned that government support for the news media would violate the First Amendment might consider the views of one expert on the topic, James Madison.

In the early years of the republic, two camps had formed over the question of how much publishers should pay in postage to have their newspapers lugged around the country by horses. One group wanted publishers to pay some postage to partly cover the costs. Madison was more radical. He believed newspapers should be mailed for free. To charge anything would be a “tax on newspapers” — which, he wrote to Thomas Jefferson, would be “an insidious forerunner to something worse.”