“If you don’t read a newspaper you are uninformed. If you read a newspaper you are misinformed.”– Mark Twain

I love the news.

My first job was delivering newspapers for the Boulder Daily Camera. I knew more about the daily news than any 8th grader in town, and made a whopping $4.50 every day before the sun was up. I’ll bet if I skipped my paper route and slept better before taking the SATs, I might have been accepted to my dream school: Northwestern Univeristy’s Medill School of Journalism. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Like everyone in politics, CaucusRoom needs the news. As conservatives, we need to alert each other to what’s going on- that’s the whole point of the site, really. More often than not, that involves sharing a story written by a professional reporter along with our own thoughts on the matter.

I know, most news reporters today are left-leaning and too many are agenda-driven… but we still need them, especially for sitting through a city council meeting so that we don’t have to. I figure I can sort out what happened at the council meeting despite the reporter’s bias, and, as Mr. Twain notes… at least I know that a council meeting took place.

The 4th Estate is in bad shape, with the press corps a fraction of the size as I knew it when I was “in the business.” Some blame Craigslist or the DrudgeReport. Others blame the product. Neither cause is easily remedied, at least not in a way that will get us back to the glory days of “ink stained wretches” shoving each other to get the scoop first. The few reporters that remain in the business are absolutely inundated for coverage by politicians, activists, and especially their former colleagues who took a better paying job at a government agency or PR firm after the last buyout.

Former Denver newspaper editors Greg Moore and John Temple make the case for a tax-and-spend regime to pay for the daily news. They note with appropriate alarm that the number of Colorado news reporters has dropped exponentially over the past 20 years.

Somehow, despite growing up in Boulder, I learned that good intentions do not always equal good ideas. Subsidizing the 4th Estate is not a good idea. There are the obvious consequences, such as making reporters beholden to the politicians that pay their salaries. But when you throw out the laws of demand and supply in favor of entitlement, the *value* of news becomes as subjective as its funding.

As a cycling nut, I’ve watched several longtime trade magazines collapse in the past year. But in its place, some new cycling news sites have blossomed in partnership with cycling social media apps and “craigslist” type sites. There’s a future somewhere in there, I think, for us to consider.

The only answer, for now at least, is to subscribe to something to keep the news alive. Anything, really. Just pick something and subscribe.

The Independence Institute has a burgeoning news agency you know as “Page 2” of CompleteColorado.com— and they can grow if you make a donation to the Institute. The newest players on the news scene– ColoradoPolitics.com and the ColoradoSun.com— put out a strong assortment of news for what amounts to pennies a day to the subscriber. I also get the Denver Post delivered, because it’s easier than finding bubble wrap.

But seriously, if we don’t step up with our pocketbooks, apparently the best answer the Left can think of is to create more government programs.