The Future of News

Student Perspectives on the State of Journalism

Newspapers’ Doomed Business Model

with 2 comments

Xark‘s Dan Conover has some excellent criticism of the newspaper industry in his article, “The newspaper suicide pact.” Below is an excerpt.

Newspapers that are turning to paywall plans today are gambling on a risky revenue stream that even the experts aren’t predicting will provide a replacement to their lost advertising revenues (their biggest financial problem is the rapid decline in advertising rates, not the slow decline in print circulation). It’s a “well, we’ve got to do SOMETHING” solution, not a logical, do-the-math solution. And since since most media companies are owned by shareholders, the resulting loss of confidence could be catastrophic.

What will these media executives do when that reality hits them? When these debt-burdened chains, stripped of journalistic talent by a decade of profiteering, their web traffic reduced by 60 percent by their paid-content follies, their pockets emptied by the cost of the proprietary paywall systems offered by Journalism Online LLC and other opportunistic vendors, what will they do?…

They don’t get it. They don’t want to get it. And in many cases, they’re literally paid not to get it.

America’s journalism infrastructure – from corporate giants to non-profit foundations like the American Press Institute and the Newspaper Association of America – is funded by dying companies. So when you hear about efforts to save newspapers (and, by extension, journalism), understand that answers that don’t return the possibility of double-digit profits and perpetual top-down control aren’t even considered answers. They’re not even considered.

They’ll do anything to survive… so long as it doesn’t involve change.

Full text at Xark!

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Written by pandrewh

June 7, 2009 at 8:17 am

2 Responses

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  1. post edited.

    ryanboulanger

    June 6, 2009 at 11:19 pm

  2. tags added.

    ryanboulanger

    June 6, 2009 at 11:39 pm


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