“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?