Each one teach one: Crystallizing the question

Class discussion helped me figure out how to state my research problem more clearly and succinctly:

What is the best way for societies to pay for their journalism?

Old ways don’t work; it’s not about buying printing presses and selling advertising anymore.

From there, it’s easy to move on and use the global community to look at other models, like the BBC. Or extrapolate into other resources, like asking, “What is the best way for societies to pay for their health care? Or their energy resources? Or their music?”

So if you like, start here. Tell me your ideas on how should we pay. I challenge you to answer in less than 100 words.

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3 responses to “Each one teach one: Crystallizing the question

  1. It seems to me that societies would continue to pay for their journalism as they always have: through the market. Since the start of the free-market journalism industry, news and information has been a commodity that people are willing to pay for. Journalism has never been free – it is paid for somehow, whether through purchase, or through advertising sales.

    There is talk about the passing of traditional media. The Economist, for example, talks about the demise of newspapers: Who Killed the Newspaper? I think the more important question would be to ask where journalism is going?: The Future of Newspapers.

    Newspapers still are relevant and central to the news media picture, but the mix of media is changing: The number of people visiting U.S. newspaper Web sites rose even as their print editions reported lower advertising sales.

    Some complete numbers: the newspaper footprint: total audience in print and online.

    The American Press Institute recently published an extensive study on how newspaper companies can deal with their troubles. New business models provide ways for newspapers to get and give, and buy and sell, information, while maintaining their traditional social and community relationships and roles. It just seems to be a reality that commercial journalism must change if it is to remain viable: Newspapers Next: The Transformation Project.

    But that’s more than 100 words.

  2. How should we pay for the news?…. hmmm… The NYTimes just recently gave up on the NYTimes Select model, where users would pay for additional content. Newspapers seem to go back and forth between paying for access to content, either live or the archives. I’m getting to the point where I want all my news and information for free, mostly because if you’re going to make me pay for it, I can probably find a similar version or thought elsewhere. I’d be curious to take a look at the NYT Select model numbers and see how well or poorly the service really was doing. I’d also like to see the hit/page view numbers after the model was dissolved. Did more users start reading Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman once the cost was removed?

    But, what would I pay for?… I’m not sure at this point. I don’t like paying for magazines, but I’ll take the freebies that come along with whatever air miles I haven’t used. I don’t pay for cable, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out not having CNN or ESPN around.

    I do find that I’m more willing to click on ads that are closely related to the content I came looking for. Smarter ads + smarter content = happier users and news orgs. Or, at least that’s one way to approach it.

  3. Pingback: A New Deal for Journalism: A half-baked idea « Global Vue

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