The president of Columbia University, home of the nation’s most prestigious journalism school, has an idea to counter the decline of the mainstream press: more state-controlled media. We aren’t making this up.

In a 3,811-word screed published in this month’s Columbia Journalism Review, Lee Bollinger proposes that the U.S. fund an “American World Service.” This would ostensibly be modeled on news agencies such as the BBC World Service and, we kid you not, Xinhua News Service and Al-Jazeera.

Why? Because they’re all state-controlled media with a global reach, which he sees as the wave of the future. “Global media outlets are proliferating,” he says. So America has to get one, too.

It’s the only way, Bollinger believes, to “realize the enormous potential of globalization” and “channel it, regulate it and encourage it in the right way.”

More to the point, it’s needed because newspapers are no longer competitive as a medium and Fox News is giving CNN real competition.

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