Private Newspapers and a State-Run Printing Press

Jason Ditz, July 04, 2013

Usually one needs a hypothetical to make a point this clearly and strongly.

Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Newspaper, the privately-owned newspaper of the nation’s former ruling party, has found itself completely out of luck today when they found out that the printing press, owned by the Egyptian government (now a military junta after yesterday’s coup) is no longer available for use.

Even a nominally free press cannot be one if the government owns the printing press. And while that may sound ridiculously low-tech to us these days, lets not forget the US government’s efforts to gain more and more official control over the Internet, nominally for national security reasons.

The Internet is increasingly ubiquitous in our lives, and it serves as a lot of things including, obviously, a printing press. Giving the US government, or indeed any government, serious control over the Internet means we no longer own the printing press, and our ideas never need to be officially censored at all, just kept quietly off the presses.

18 Responses to “Private Newspapers and a State-Run Printing Press”

  1. I'm sorry Ditz… I assume you missed the millions of "Egyptian people" dancing in the streets after they ousted their Terrorist Dictator Morsi…

    Mission accomplished!

  2. One tyrant is replaced by another, and the mob rejoices . . . again. One wonders: just how many among these jubilant millions went to the polls for the *democratically* elected Morsi? And how many of those who are now foolishly chanting "the people and the military are one" have in the past felt the wrath (and batons and tear gas and boots) of their new masters?

    No, the fact that millions are "dancing in the streets" serves only to reconfirm that most humans are shortsighted, sheepish and incapable of learning from history, even that *very recent* history in which they have been minor participants. The masses, as always and everywhere, spurn one rod which strikes them, only to straight away begin kissing another. There is no sadder or more nauseating spectacle on earth — and few that are as frequently reenacted.

  3. Arab Spring!!! Arab Spring!!! Arab Spring!!!! Wooo Hoooo!!!!

  4. A printing press for newspapers is anything but low tech.
    One of the overlooked advantages of newsprint btw is the built in security: nobody can track each and every article you read and the exact time and place you read it.

    Anyway, why don't you celebrate the ouster of a democratically elected dictator like a good citizen of the free west?

  5. Don't Woohoo until the danger of Syrification of Egypt is safely past.

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  11. A printing press for newspapers is anything but low tech.

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