Journalism’s perception vs reality gap


Wait, wait, wait…

This ignores the reality at the heart of journalism’s struggles: There actually is consensus as to how various content business models should work, but those solutions are almost impossible to implement.

For example, most consumers refuse to register as subscribers. Since news & entertainment are almost perfectly substitutable goods, why pay for a subscription!? Even if subscriptions are free, why invest the time & energy? (We’re all aware of digital subscriptions’ long tails: the daily barrage of emails from tens of affiliates; the whack-a-mole process of unsubscribing; etc.)

Your “new pitch” calls for subscriptions, which provide the benefit of demographic data, which increases attention/engagement/return visits/targeting and therefore ad revenue/ROI. Of course everyone wants all of that. But, if journalism really thought your “new pitch” was the solution, they’d be embracing social platforms, which offer outsourced CMS and distribution infrastructure for zero fixed + zero marginal costs.

Some journalism & journalists can continue to insist how the system should work – business models wrought in an age of scarcity – but the broad industry won’t achieve sustainability until it embraces and adapts to abundance.

See also…

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...” 👉

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