Are newspapers kaput? Not quite yet. And they still will be influential in this November’s election, especially at the state and local levels.

On Thursday, the New York Times ran an article, “Want to Own a Newspaper? A Vermont Contest Has Trouble Finding Takers.” No question about that. Newspapers today are about as valuable as Confederate bonds at a Black Lives Matter rally.

But I think newspapers are using the wrong model. For a century they’ve pretended to be “objective,” with opinions kept to the editorial pages. That’s always been a fiction, as conservatives long have griped, accurately charging the “MainStream Media” with “bias,” as in Edith Efron’s 1972 book, “The News Twisters.”

And whatever you think of Donald Trump, the daily “objective” news assaults on him – sometimes I’ve counted eight a day in the Times itself and the Washington Post – show the veneer of objectivity now is as thin as a Hillary Clinton alibi.

Well, here’s my idea to increase newspapers’ influence, especially in election years like this one, make greater profits and have a lot more fun. Follow these three easy steps:

Step 1: You’ll have to have some money to start to buy a newspaper, preferably in a medium-sized town, and figure you might lose all your investment. Although even a large paper with statewide influence, such as the L.A. Times or the Sacramento Bee (or the Arizona Republic) also could do by hammering the state on high taxes and regulations.

Papers are cheap now, so a couple hundred thousand might do for small papers, more for bigger papers. The Orange County Register, combined with the Riverside Press-Enterprise, recently sold for just $15 million (once the $30 million underlying property was sold off; the Register alone was valued at about $1 billion as recently as around 2004).

Step 2: Invest other money in local businesses that are harassed by state and local governments.

Step 3: Turn the newspaper into a tribune of local and state limited government and economic growth. Not only the editorial pages, but the news pages should conduct relentless campaigns for lower taxes and fewer regulations, while blasting the multitudinous corruption at all levels: the pension scams, the crony contracts with businesses that contribute to politicians, the public-employee union privileges, the lazy lifer functionaries, the government oppression of the toiling masses.

So forget about “objective” news reporting and instead campaign hard and humorously for smaller, more honest government. Use existing open government laws to rip open the secret, seamy actions of government – the sleazy deals, the ripoffs, the incompetence, the idiocy.

Step 4: Reward your writers and editors with “bounties.” Jailing a corrupt official, defeating an initiative that increases taxes or regulations, or passing a tax or regulation cut earns a cash bonus.

Step 5: Skip national and international reporting. Everyone read it anyway the night before on the DrudgeReport.

That’s the program. In so doing, you’ll also improve your local community, creating jobs for everyone. While papers do investigate government, such as the Register’s excellent OC Watchdog, my proposal is that such investigations be pervasive and relentless. Government officials should loathe getting up in the morning and reading in the paper, or online, the latest stories on uncovered misfeasance and malfeasance.

I came up with the idea when I learned long ago about R.C. Hoiles, who bought the Orange County Register in 1935 and published it until his death in 1970. His family owned it until recently. R.C. did not run an “objective” newspaper. Instead, it projected his libertarian philosophy, from front to back. That’s a major reason Orange County has smaller government, is much more friendly toward business and is a more pleasant place to live than L.A.

My modest proposal is simply using reality to make some cash. Not only would circulation and online readership levels rise, as citizens were eager for daily exposes of government wrongdoing, but the local community would enjoy greater economic growth, and savvy investors would make some cash.

Veteran journalist John Seiler recently left the Orange County Register after 29 years; his email: