BBC and VOA as free news sources?

Posted: 28 Aug 2009   Print   Send a link
"A few weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch announced the online version of Fox News (the fair and balanced one) will become a pay-per-view service. ... I know what you’re thinking. This is a bad deal. Practically every other news service provides online articles and commentary, with costs covered by ads, not users. Even if every newspaper in the United States switches to a monthly pay plan, you’ll still be able to get free localized news from the BBC World or Voice of America, both of which are bound by law to provide services for free." Westin McDorman, JackCentral.com, 27 August 2009. I'm not aware of any laws that require BBC (internationally) and VOA to distribute their content for free. BBC video archives are free for UK internet users, but unavailable to international users. Note that there is generally no live stream of BBC World News. (One exception, for now, is Peepat.com.) You are supposed to watch via cable or satellite systems, for which you pay. VOA could use the same discrimination of IP addresses to make its content free for internet users outside the United States, but, because of the Smith-Mundt prohibition aganst domestic dissemination, altogether unavailable to US users. For discussion of news for free, or otherwise, via the internet, see BBC News, 6 August 2009 and BBC World Have Your Say, 6 August 2009.