The Now/ledge

A Guide to the 'Now' Revolution in News / by Alan Soon

The real threat to journalism


It isn’t as though journalism needed another threat; there are plenty to choose from.

But the rise of paywalls, most recently seen in the UK’s Times, Sunday Times and Rolling Stone magazine, may be the medicine that kills the patient.

Repeat after me: Traffic leads to money and in turn, is far more capable at enhancing the quality of journalism than undermine it.

Putting great stories, photos and video behind a ringed fence only diminish the overall pool of news in the industry. As David Amerland, an SEO specialist describes it:

“The approach threatens journalists, whose jobs will be the next to go as online news readers dwindle and revenue drops even further. This threatens journalism because it encourages the emergence of less professional services that directly, and more successfully, compete with it.”

Is isolation really the best way forward for news organizations? Advertising, long abandoned as a savior for online newsrooms, could be a viable option in the near future.

According to Peter Kirwan, who crunched the numbers in an article for Wired, an ad-supported Guardian could turn off the presses by 2015. Assuming no increase in the cost of operating the Guardian newsroom and a modest 20 percent increase in ad revenue, freedom could be a mere five years away.

Can newsrooms afford to wait? More importantly, will the audience?

(Photo: Jeremy Brooks/Creative Commons)

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Filed under: Jobs, Newspapers, Publishing

One Response

  1. Darren says:

    You are totally correct. I never look at the SCMP online because it is a pay site. I limit myself to free “news”.

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