Paywalls and the business model of journalism were one of the early focuses of this blog, but I don’t write about them much anymore. That’s odd, given that I still think about them quite a lot and that they’re part of my current work.
I don’t have anything to say about them right now, except these two pieces are each worth a read:
Critics of the “mainstream media” (or if you prefer, the “lamestream media”) are fond of saying that we’re going to be put out of business by competition from “new media” upstarts. Indeed, as a young blogger, I might even have made a few such pronouncements. And I and those critics were wrong. Traditional media can survive competition for readers just fine. It’s competition for advertisers that’s killing us.
But is journalism really in such a parlous state? Look closer. News is an industry in transition, not in decline. It is reemerging as something more digital, more personalized, more automated, more paid for—and (eventually) less fake. In many ways history is repeating itself, with the main surprise being the survival of so many established names. And good journalism still does have the power to change lives.