Is Journalism Too Expensive?

The decline in journalists worldwide is a considerable issue. While there are many who want to fight for the increased funding of journalism starting at the fundamental level of college internships, there are also those who are for, or at least show support for, the cutting of budgets in the media realm. James Breiner writes in his research journal “The Economics of Accountability Journalism: What Price is Right?” the many reasons that the cutting of spending in journalism would be an overall positive idea. His appeal is purely logical and he defends it well with a variety of sources and also includes several graphs to illustrate his points.

Breiner begins with a focus on why the current model is breaking apart as well as why there are so many journalists that are getting laid off. He continues with how most companies pay for their websites and other forms of media through the use of advertisements and how television and print media compare in consumer retention compared to online media. Another concern considers how the measure of consumer retention is imperfect and causes problems for advertisers and how different measures of consumer retention are equally as inaccurate. He concludes by stating that there has been too much work done to try to decrease the gap between news that is being pushed out and its quality and that it is better to simply cut the budget in order to keep the best journalists doing the jobs that they should be doing.

Breiner introduces each argument in such a way that he slowly narrows down what he wants to focus on as the main issue that journalism faces at an economic standpoint. Each new argument uses the information from the previous one as Breiner pieces together his final argument. The practicality of this argument is amazing as it leaves few weak points in Breiner’s argument as it uses plenty of statistics from reputable sources, such as PewResearch. His arguments focus on how the advertisers are being unfairly treated by companies who utilizes the clicks per minute measure to acquire funds to support their media outlets. This extends to how more and more countries are beginning to take away public funds from private companies who are trying to provide a news source for the area. The biggest example of a successful company who provides news to an area would be the BBC and many of the neighboring countries to the United Kingdom have begun to take more and more freedoms away from their public press companies.

Breiner considers his argument to be tentative yet accurate as he has included a lot of information however he understands that the changes in technology are rapid enough that there could be a positive change for the case towards accountability journalism. This particular article is very informative as to the economics of journalism as it shows just how much news the public is getting per dollar of payment, wherever the money may be coming from.

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