The answer to journalism’s biz model problem? Subscription redux
Charlie Beckett
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There’s one problem about looking for a way to finance mainstream journalism: people do not want to pay for it, because it comprises nothing except advertising. Stories about politics are adverts for politicians chasing money and power. Stories about movies are adverts for highly-paid producers and their star actors. Stories about sport are adverts for professional sportspeople. Stories about Health are adverts for doctors and hospitals. All other stories are indirectly flogging products and services. Why the hell should we pay for advertising, in the knowledge that the journalists are not on our side?

The bottom line is that mainstream journalism sucks up to advertisers all the time (I’m writing after 50 years of being a technology freelance myself). The only truth today is on the web and it comes from writers who have no hope in hell of getting advertising sponsorship, because they tell viewers the truth and threaten the existing political system. But people won’t even pay for the truth, because citizens have no real political power, and therefore investigative journalism leaves them both angry and impotent (e.g. the laughable US election campaigns). Figure that out, Charlie Beckett, and you may find a way to make real money from real journalism.

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