Where are all the newspapers going? To graveyards every one …

As I wrote back in 2012, newspapers’ raison d’etre, the news, is being spidered and copied, repurposed and regurgitated by thousands of aggregators and bloggers, Tweeters, Googlers and Yahooers and the like, until the original source is irrelevant — as a brand and as a financially going concern.

I quoted Alan Mutter’s Newsosaur blog that warned that newspapers are being outsmarted in the bid for mobile advertising. He noted Apple and Google have increased their efforts to grab a bigger share of the local advertising market via smart phones.

This week Congress apparently is taking notice.

The Associated Press is reporting that the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel heard from news media associations that accused big tech companies of jeopardizing the industry’s economic survival by putting news content on their platforms without fairly compensating those who created the news. (Sort of like this blog is doing right now.)

Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat and the subcommittee chairman, was quoted as saying Congress must determine whether the antitrust laws “are equipped for the competition problems of our modern economy.”

David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance which represents about 2,000 news organizations, was quoted as saying, “There’s a real urgency in the industry. We’re at crisis point now.”

But Google’s vice president of news Richard Gringas said in a statement Google drives billions of clicks to publishers’ websites, which creates revenue.

But too often online sites just plagiarize the costly and exclusive news content, denying newspapers customers. Of course, newspapers are also guilty of giving away their own content, often posting news stories online days before they are published in print for paying customers and paying advertisers.

Back in 2012 a Moody’s analysis warned, “At this point, there is no evidence digital strategies are returning most daily newspapers to positive growth. It is merely a way to moderate revenue declines.”

Newspapers keep cutting jobs — jobs that produce the content their customers are seeking. It is death spiral.

Matt Schruers, vice president of law and policy with the Computer and Communications Industry Association, left, David Pitofsky, general counsel of News Corp, center, and Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, right, are sworn-in before testifying before the House Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee hearing. (AP pix)

Crony socialism is now all right with them

Methinks the editorial position of the Las Vegas newspaper bent to the left this morning.

Under the headline, “State stepping up for autonomous cars,” the editorial in this morning’s Review-Journal applauded Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval for deciding to appoint an autonomous car expert to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) — “a person whose job it will be to meet with companies looking to develop the industry and convince them Nevada is the place to do it.”

The editorial went on to applaud the governor for shelling out tax money and/or tax credits and abatements to attract companies such as Apple Computer, Switch, Tesla and Faraday Future, all described as big players in the information and energy economy.

“Gov. Sandoval’s competitive streak — and his vision for economic development — is but one reason Nevada has an advantage over other states when it comes to the new industry of driverless cars,” the editorial gushes with enthusiasm and calls for more of the same. “The state’s higher education system needs to match that vision with a competitive job-training program of its own, tailored specifically to the needs of the companies that will set up shop here.”

It seems like only yesterday, well, two years ago, the same editorial page was bemoaning such largesse under the headline, “Subsidized jobs,” noting that some of the deals GOED was cutting amounted to between $5,000 and $55,000 per job.

That editorial ended thusly:

Even at the levels handed out last month, the public simply can’t afford to subsidize its way to full employment. And it’s absolutely brutal to ask local businesses, who have invested in this community and sacrificed to keep their doors open, to pay full freight for themselves so newcomers — and potential competitors — can enter the market at a discount.

Nevada needs jobs, and the Barclaycard US and CITRA plans will help. But having Nevada governments pick winners isn’t a long-term employment solution. Our officials should be just as focused on doing whatever it takes to ensure existing companies can stay in business and grow. Let’s find a way to give them a break.

If a Republican governor and a Republican majority Legislature — meeting twice in special sessions — can embrace such crony socialism, so can a once-staunchly libertarian editorial page.

Evolution rewards the survival of the fittest.

Then there is the survival of those who just fit in.

Photo of Gov. Brian Sandoval accompanying the online version of today’s Review-Journal editorial. (R-J photo)