Gather round, gather round for this month’s Carnival of Journalism, which addresses the timely question of ‘How do you financially support journalism online?’. I’ll be updating this post as the carnival performers put on their outsized business heads and add their peacock-like contributions.
- First up in the parade is the glamorously ruffled Dave Cohn, who addresses the merits of community funded journalism with his post;
- Following him is the dame Jack Lail, who notes how the rules for staffing levels are changing – and that while there are rules of thumb for print operations, no one seems to have worked out what the economics are when you publish online-only.
- While the rainbow-coloured Charlie Beckett points out Frederick Filou‘s reasons why 2009 could be a good year for the news media.
- The resplendent Wendy Withers offers the following advice to both freelancers and news organisations: diversify
- Ryan Sholin, wearing the feathers of Invisible Inkling, comes up with 3 obvious ways to support online journalism;
- and the masked Bryan Murley points out that “there are no new business models for news … The only possible models are these: advertiser-supported and reader-supported (through subscriptions or donations).” The key, he says, is to get out of the neglect that has brought news organisations to this point in the first place.
Meanwhile, the carnival is already taking place in Twittersphere – I asked followers to answer in 140 characters or less “What business models could support journalism online?” Responses so far:
- Jason_Cobb @paulbradshaw No established model can work. Which is the beauty of it all. Time to start again at grass roots with info as base, not profit
- nmcintosh @paulbradshaw Advertising. Subscription. Not charity. Revenue’s not the problem 🙂
- Paul0Evans1 @paulbradshaw Recognise that it’s not *that* expensive to publicly subsidise & the mood on this stuff is changing http://tinyurl.com/8yymcs
- BostinBloke @paulbradshaw advertising….premium subsciption service…membership discounts
- matthewbennett @paulbradshaw Subscribe to an individual journalist: top quality individual journalist blogs with premium content section
- benkunz @paulbradshaw Business model for journalism: Turn 1 major city paper in each U.S. region into a nonprofit. Done.
- NigelBarlow @paulbradshaw I still think that there is a case for puuting a paywall around quality content
- wcochran @paulbradshaw: Subscribers have to take a bigger share of cost. Good news: online news costs less.
I’ve also started a video conversation on Seesmic on the subject – embedded below – on which I’d welcome your thoughts.
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What happens if it’s publicly subsidised but no one reads it?
Other than the Wall Street Journal, what online publication has been successful with a paywall? The New York Times tried it with Times Select and it failed. Salon has subscriptions, but you can also read free content.
The public is used to free information on the Web. (And from television and radio, for that matter.) Do you think the public will be agreeable to suddenly having to pay for something they’ve been getting free up till now?
The non-profit model makes more sense to me. At least it’s obvious that the publicly-traded model is no longer viable.
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Right, non-profit makes the most sense.
Let’s not forget that many papers (like mine, The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi) are still profitable right now. We’re just not as profitable as we were. Additionally we don’t have expansion debt to pay off, as many other companies do.
Anyway, If we didn’t have to pay our Gannett shareholders, we’d be in a much better situation.
“Let’s not forget that many papers (like mine, The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi) are still profitable right now. We’re just not as profitable as we were. ”
An excellent point, often missed.
There are still profits to be made in print. Just not to combine it with a good online operation and things will look okay.
‘need’ not ‘not.
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my team are making an event, journalist days 2009, theme : citizen journalism:the future of news and information.
we are looking for possible sponsor. Do you guys know any company who want to support journalism?
I think that advertisement is a very good way to support journalism online. A website can use one of the numerous services that aupply ads and pay for impressions or for clicks.
Quantifying the internet is a very difficult thing. Especially now that there is so much information. Many companies are trying to adopt the approach of pay for content, but im not sure if that would work. I think people are happy to pay for news if it offers something extra.
Very hard to determine the exact cost that the internet is having on traditional media and journalism. I think that online journalism is having to transform and adapt to changing trends in social media.
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