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Archive for February 18th, 2008

‘Penny’ press redux: a new business model for journalism?

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Edward Wasserman, writing in the Feb. 18 Miami Herald, makes an obvious but still unsettling point about the news business:

The nearly two-century-old marriage between consumer advertising and journalism is on the rocks.

Prof. Wasserman, the Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University, recounts that two hundred years from the penny press to the difficulties that “new media” have with a business model that presumes people will pay for news — and therefore advertisers will pay to park themselves in front of those eyeballs. But, says Prof. Wasserman:

That era is now ending, not because the public no longer needs news or because people mistrust news any more than they always have — but because new technologies are churning out better ways to reach customers who are shopping for cars, jobs or homes.

For two centuries, advertising has supported journalism. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press — but does not guarantee profitability. That news organizations must achieve without government support.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

February 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized