By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The latest in the paid-content wars

I’ve got a commentary up at the Guardian on the latest skirmishes in the paid-content wars, from Times Reader to Rupert Murdoch’s new scheme.

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6 Comments

  1. mike_b1

    Question: Have you looked at how ad revenues and circ are changing in Asia, Europe and S. America? Perhaps there’s a model out there that is working but that we’re not considering.Might be a project for your students.

  2. Peter Porcupine

    DK – excellent analysis. And Simon is dead wrong – bloggers DO go to zoning hearings now! But perhpas not blogs he reads…(…and for you to refer to ANYONE as ‘media obsessed’…)

  3. Aaron Read

    Harry Shearer was extolling his listeners to “Le Show” to go out and buy an Amazon Kindle and use it to read the Wall Street Journal. Not because he believes in the technology, but because supposedly Murdoch has said he’s very unhappy about how his paper is being distributed in a digital fashion for free.

  4. lovable liberal

    In response to David Simon, if I ever see a professional reporter show up regularly to routine town government meetings again, I’ll be shocked. The only people who cover the routine stories now are local news bloggers.One of the big problems with newspapers is that they've given up covering "boring" stories. They're looking for novelistic features and exposés – and for someone bleeding.There are two one-woman blogs in my town, and their productivity far exceeds any professional's output. They post four or five times per day instead of nursing each byline for a week or more. Boring, informational stories are the difference.The abdication of professional journalists in coverage of local government predates blogging. When I reported sports and wrote a column for my local weekly in the 1990s, the abdication had already happened. I was there to provide local content for cheap, while the editor pulled in regional stories, many of which had already been printed in the small-region daily.Newspapers got lazy, and the new national market for their product (advertising) exposed their flabby underbelly to competitive destruction.

  5. jo nathan dudley

    Response to the so-called "Loveable Liberal". Wrong and right all at the same time.You Wrote:"There are two one-woman blogs in my town, and their productivity far exceeds any professional's output. They post four or five times per day instead of nursing each byline for a week or more. Boring, informational stories are the difference." There blogs are at best not reporting and rather opinions of what is happening. I'm sure if there are up to snuff they might actually make it on an editorial page. They may post 4 to 5 times a day but I'm guessing they don't have access to editors who will edit the work. This helps finely tune a piece so that it is streamlined and well written and backed up by checking quotes.Also, just showing up at a meeting does not make one a good reporter especially if they have no idea of the nature of these public events. Forums at the local government level or at any level are only a modern version of the Kabuki Dance. More show than tell.BTW…Really? You actually think that what is really going on is being displayed at these meetings? No, that takes professional journalism to find out the inner dealings of any institutions. Working the beat 12 hours or more a day and speaking with those from the top to the bottom is what encompasses journalism. Forging professional relationships with those people in order to get the "scoop". I believe that was the sentiment when you wrote "Boring, informational stories are the difference." Those stories are only produced by journalists who are given the time to do so…to develop contacts…to weed through what is BS and what is not. They get paid for it.To another one of your points: The abdication of professional journalists in coverage of local government predates blogging.That is exactly what David Simon says but he has the background on HOW it actually happened in regard to the Wall Street gutting of the industry when the profits at his paper were routinely at 30+%. The money for Research & Development of the product was sent to sharholders and execs. Not exactly public interest.Perhaps next time you will examine the argument before dismissing it and you may find that argument has points you agree with too…Perhaps.

  6. lovable liberal

    Oh, bull—-. You have no idea what you're talking about. Blogging is a technology, not a content type. Both my local bloggers manage neutral point of view nearly all the time, at least as frequently as the professionals. Every writer is better with an editor. I would be. You definitely would be. But the output of modern journalists suggests that editors are gravely failing even to adhere to their own standards – on trading anonymity for access, to pick one glaring example.The process of creating a newspaper is obviously too heavyweight, and it's not faster. Editors are more dispensable than reporters.If the professional reporters aren't going to go to the meetings, it's doubtful they'll ever get to the bottom of anything. The evidence is that professional journalism has given up on local news.Professional reporters aren't forming the relationships you believe are so important. The evidence of the past two decades suggests that professionals are often waaay too close to their sources.Margin pressures from Wall St. matter, but the fundamental problem is economies of scale for advertising purchasers, with the concomitant squeeze on advertising sellers.Maybe next time you can refrain from patronizing me. Probably not.

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