On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Undocumented Immigrants, Internet Paywalls, and Jumping the Gun
Our daily roundup.
1. Add a tweet of the day to our daily round up.
This powerful news photo of "undocumented students speaking to vacant senate seats" was retweeted by the WashingtonBus.
Undocumented students showed up to the state senate higher ed committee today to symbolically "testify" in favor of the proposed Dream Act—which would make the children of undocumented immigrants eligible for state college aid. It was only symbolic testimony because there were no senators there to hear them.
As we reported earlier today, Sen. Barbara Bailey (R-10, Oak Harbor), who chairs the senate's higher ed committee, canceled the hearing today—the last day for legislation to make it out of committee.
2. The Everett Herald reports that although state house lawmakers have trimmed a proposed transportation funding package by a third, it still includes a sizeable gas tax of ten cents a gallon. It does not, however, include what the Herald calls a "detested" motor vehicle excise tax or a $25 tax on bike sales (which was also "detested," but by cycling advocates).
It's still far from clear whether the package can pass. Gov. Jay Inslee has said transportation funding is a necessity this session, but some legislators have argued that the state should focus on fulfilling the McCleary decison's mandate to fund basic education before paying for road maintenance and new roads and transit.
3. The Seattle Times' web site is now hidden behind a $4-a-week ($208-a-year) paywall, which is why On Other Blogs Today won't be linking them much anymore.
Times editor David Boardman argued that the only way the paper could continue to provide "quality journalism" was by charging for it. However, Guardian media critic Michael Wolff argues that even if newspaper readers do decide to spend hundreds a year for each of their preferred media outlets (the New York Times charges about twice as much as the Seattle Times, but its paywall is notoriously porous), that still won't solve print media's financial crisis.
Among the problems Wolff cites: Increased competition from free online news media, younger news consumers with no specific brand loyalty, and abandonment of print media by traditional advertisers.
4. The New York Times reports on Washington state's proposed Reproductive Parity Act, which would require insurers that cover maternity care to also cover abortions, and feminist blogs like Jezebel are celebrating. "It's almost as if the state's politicians actually believe ladies should have control over their own uteri!" they write.
Well, not so fast. As we've reported, and as even the NYT story notes, the RPA is unlikely to make it out of committee and to the floor in the Republican-dominated senate.
So, yes, Washington is moving in the opposite direction from most of the nation (where state legislatures enacted 42 anti-choice laws in 2012 alone). But it's hardly an occasion for feminists to be celebrating.