Utopia - Part 2

Welcome to my second post discussing Utopia.  To see the first, just click the “Older Post” link at the bottom of the page.

In creating the large disorganized pile of notes that will eventually take coherent form here, I’ve realized that most of my ideas won’t work as intended without a well-informed populace.  I’d love to add well-educated to that, but education is a separate topic that I will address later.  It’s impossible to prevent willful ignorance, but we can at least minimize unintentional ignorance.  I’ve come up with two things that I think would do the job.

The first is universal broadband internet access.  Make the internet a public utility, no different than electricity, water, or sewer.  I don’t care so much about the actual implementation.  In some locales it could be community wi-fi, in others fiber or copper, or perhaps even satellite.  No one should be required to take advantage of it, but it needs to be available to everyone.

The second is trickier to implement, but probably far more important.  It’s the idea of “qualified news media”.  In order to be called “news”, such media must clearly mark the difference between fact and opinion, publish prominent retractions and corrections of material published as factual that is wrong or misleading, and disclose any financial ties to people or organizations in their stories.  And it must be made freely available to the public.

Any individual or organization that meets these requirements can be a qualified news source.  Citizen journalism is not only allowed; it is encouraged.  In fact, I see no reason foreign news services couldn’t set up local news outlets, as long as they follow all the rules.

The people have a right to correct, factual information that can be trusted.  The news must be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  And it must be constitutionally protected from persecution or prosecution.  The truth must never be a crime, under any circumstances.

I’m not exactly sure how to protect legitimately classified information from inappropriate release while still guaranteeing the journalistic rights I’ve already outlined.  I’d be happy to hear your suggestions.


  1. Perhaps have a separate elected committee from different walks of life that would determine whether a particular bit of classified information is safe/appropriate to be unclassified for the particular project the journalist was working on ... they would need to come from different walks of life, though, otherwise it would be too easy to reach a well-intentioned but poorly decisioned assessment.

    1. The separate committee I think is an idea that would have wide applicability to many of my ideas about government. The trick is to gather enough qualified experts without a conflict of interest.