The Future of Journalism is Bright, and Paid
Toby Abel

I mis-read your headline as “Bright and Plaid”, which made me think of the guy in WKRP in Cincinatti. Not your model of journalism (or ad sales), I take it.

But seriously, here’s a thought: as cheap a bastard as I am, I pay the NYT for the Sunday paper and online access the other 6 days, and they’re my #1 news source (though I’m a terminal skeptic and take nothing at face value, especially since Judith Miller in 2003). But I also read a bunch of stuff online from a wide variety of good and bad sources, for varied content and perspective. But I don’t want to pay 3 dozen — or even just 3 — sources for a full subscription (cheap bastard, like I said, plus I don’t have time to read >1 full papers/day or magazines/week).

So what would be really cool would be a curated stream of material from professional journalists. Even better would be annotations (so if I was back reading Judith, there would be embedded hoverable hyperlinks clueing me into the fact that numerous cool-headed trustworthy sources knew she was passing on manufactured intelligence). I would be willing to double my current news budget for that, if done well.

I guess Medium is a bit like that, but I’m thinking more of a concentration on hard journalism, with analysis, but maybe without any op-ed. I know the lines between “objective” journalism, news analysis, and opinion columns are fuzzy, but surely a grey line could be drawn between analysis from a clear position and sarcastic name-calling (there’s a place for the latter, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a “place” free of it?) And no comments, dammit! Commenters are just the worst, aren’t they?

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