Still Stuck On

“We have to decide, are we ready to get what we pay for? And if we’re not going to pay for news then you’re going to get a different kind of news. Full stop.” — Jon Meacham. Editor-In-Chief, Newsweek. (on the Daily Show)

The headline refers to me. I’ve been away from being a journalist for a couple of years. I still care deeply about the craft (the political aspects get so much attention but that’s really a small sliver of the journalism field), and am pained to see print going through the death throes. After all, my degree is specifically in Print Journalism.

Something else has to emerge other than the way people are getting their news now. The ratio of “maybe/rumor” to fact is depressingly low. Uncertainty cannot sustain a society; not one that functions well, in any case.

I actually bought Rolling Stone for the first time in years a couple of months back, because they had just gone to an online paid model for content. I support being paid. Now Rolling Stone has gone so far down hill they’re swimming in core lava, so I probably won’t support them. Especially since I’ve started my own music site.

Online advertising can work, but it doesn’t work enough to sustain an information business. Rare it is that people make a living from their sites. Or at least online advertising can’t sustain enough of them, though it can be improved and focused – just like anyone’s writing. Not right now will it be enough; its’s still considered an annoyance. And the more advertisers try to “enhance” their connections to people, the more the people, rightly get their hackles raised about companies knowing too much about them. They feel they are only a reflection of their purchases. Rant for another time there.

News has changed and will continue to change. Will people settle for being ignorant or uniformed?

  • Read this yesterday but had to let it percolate. Right now there is so much free content on the web that I won’t even sign up for a free account somewhere (hello NYT) to read an article, and hell no, I won’t pay for it either. I can generally find, if not excellent coverage, at least the bare bones of what I want to know from the aggregates, and then go hunt down the rest of the info as I need it.
    If I had to pay for news, I dunno what I’d do – I tend to read about stuff in multiple places since not all of them get their facts straight. Pretty sure I wouldn’t pay for online access to a great many sources, so I might indeed be less informed, or at least, more shaped by the one or two sources I did choose to pay for.

  • Read this yesterday but had to let it percolate. Right now there is so much free content on the web that I won’t even sign up for a free account somewhere (hello NYT) to read an article, and hell no, I won’t pay for it either. I can generally find, if not excellent coverage, at least the bare bones of what I want to know from the aggregates, and then go hunt down the rest of the info as I need it.
    If I had to pay for news, I dunno what I’d do – I tend to read about stuff in multiple places since not all of them get their facts straight. Pretty sure I wouldn’t pay for online access to a great many sources, so I might indeed be less informed, or at least, more shaped by the one or two sources I did choose to pay for.

  • I’m ruminating and dwelling on things there, naturally. My slide into the advertising part is, that yes, that is the way to go but people’s disdain for it – rightfully so in some cases – is going to hurt companies and themselves. I do like the Twitter model and Facebook model – or the App model for that matter. I’ve clicked through more things in Twitter and on my Runway game app because they’re things I use. I think I may have even bought something, but can’t remember what at the moment.

    People should expect things to be free – like free magazines and rags – but there’s a breaking point, where the nature of news does in fact change; where the willingness of people to fight through poor wages damages actual information. And another edge of that coin, if not the flip side, is that government and companies get more brazen about not quite caring what the public thinks, because the likelihood *they” get caught lessens. And the outrage lessen, too.

    Think of it like this (he says speaking to anyone reading). the way people treat their home or their car compared to the way they treat rentals.

  • I’m ruminating and dwelling on things there, naturally. My slide into the advertising part is, that yes, that is the way to go but people’s disdain for it – rightfully so in some cases – is going to hurt companies and themselves. I do like the Twitter model and Facebook model – or the App model for that matter. I’ve clicked through more things in Twitter and on my Runway game app because they’re things I use. I think I may have even bought something, but can’t remember what at the moment.

    People should expect things to be free – like free magazines and rags – but there’s a breaking point, where the nature of news does in fact change; where the willingness of people to fight through poor wages damages actual information. And another edge of that coin, if not the flip side, is that government and companies get more brazen about not quite caring what the public thinks, because the likelihood *they” get caught lessens. And the outrage lessen, too.

    Think of it like this (he says speaking to anyone reading). the way people treat their home or their car compared to the way they treat rentals.

  • I can’t believe you actually bought a copy of Rolling Stone. They jumped the publishing shark so long ago, it was a megalodon the last time they reported anything worth reading.

    As for online news, it the papers would use online as a supplement to what subscribers get in print, they might actually still make a go of it. However, they’ll never do it. And I’m with Kitten on that whole “I don’t even want to sign up for a free account” thing.

  • I can’t believe you actually bought a copy of Rolling Stone. They jumped the publishing shark so long ago, it was a megalodon the last time they reported anything worth reading.

    As for online news, it the papers would use online as a supplement to what subscribers get in print, they might actually still make a go of it. However, they’ll never do it. And I’m with Kitten on that whole “I don’t even want to sign up for a free account” thing.