How to stop the rise of Idaho newspapers
The Idaho newspaper industry is in trouble.
And it’s not because the state government is doing too little to prevent the paper industry from falling victim to digital disruption.
The state government hasn’t done much to prevent digital disruption, and its own efforts to limit it have largely failed.
The Idaho House is set to consider legislation next week that would prevent state agencies from adopting policies to restrict the use of mobile devices by government workers.
The legislation would require agencies to adopt a plan for managing the potential impact of digital disruption on their operations.
“If the Idaho legislature can’t get this right, what can we do?” said Representative David Schaller, the Idaho Republican who introduced the legislation.
“What can we say to our legislators?
I think the state is trying to do everything it can to mitigate the effects of this disruption,” said Rep. David Schalock, who sponsored the legislation that would bar agencies from implementing policies that would limit the use or control of mobile phones.
The Idaho House of Representatives passed the legislation last week.
Schaller and the Idaho House have been working to develop a plan that would require the Idaho Department of Commerce and Consumer Protection to identify, investigate and respond to threats to the economic health and well-being of the state’s newspapers, the Associated Press reported.
The plan would also provide a way for the Idaho Senate to block a measure from becoming law that would allow the Idaho Public Broadcasting Commission to prohibit employees from using their personal devices to access public broadcasting broadcasts, the AP reported.
Schalock said that Idaho newspapers, like the Idaho State Legislature, would face significant threats from digital disruption if they failed to address these threats.
“The Idaho newspapers would face massive threats from this disruption, which is a real threat to their viability,” he said.
“We have the ability to deal with it.
We can’t go backwards.”
The bill was approved by the House in December and now goes to the Senate for approval.
The Senate will vote on the bill Tuesday.
The legislation would not only prohibit the state from creating policies to limit the growth of the digital media industry, it would also prohibit the department from developing policies to protect the health and safety of employees, the state Department of Labor said in a news release.
In an interview with the AP, Rep. Chris Fussell, a Republican from Idaho Falls who sponsored several bills to limit digital media in the past, said that the proposed legislation would be “very harmful to the Idaho newspapers.”
“The legislature is not doing their job,” Fussel said.
The bill would make it more difficult for Idaho’s public broadcasters to offer the public a safe alternative to newspapers that may not be the best choice for a consumer, he said, and would also give the legislature a reason to oppose the development of new digital media.
“This is an attack on the newspaper industry,” Fissell said.