How the web changed the economics of news

We discussed this reading by Paul Bradshaw on the online journalism blog.

Paul has summed up what he feels has changed in Journalism in the last ten years because of the internet.

The message being portrayed in the article is how online journalism will; if not already take over from print.  He has lost faith in print journalism for a number of reasons.  The reasons seem to stem from two things: What audiences want to see and what advertisers are willing to do. This is in favour of online journalism and that if you want to be a journalist these days you have to adapt yourself to these changes.

At face value the article is basically saying what many people are predicting. Online Journalism is the future.  I agree with most of what he says but points four and six are particularly flawed in my opinion.

Everyone going to Amazon for a book review? Amazon will give you a review of popular public opinion but many people still want quality journalism. Will they get that from Amazon? Unlikely. How about from a journalist who has studied many different books and has knowledge in this field? Probably.

Also the point about reduced cost of newsgathering. Paul really needs to be clearer in what he’s saying here.  Once again if people want quality news, and many of them do, then they are not going to get that from not having limited sources. Who is going to get these sources because they don’t just magically appear on the web!

More on the future of Journalism in the next blog post.

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2 thoughts on “How the web changed the economics of news

  1. Thought I’d take the time to try to reply to as many of your class as possible. Your interpretations are interesting – I’d be curious how the post has been presented to you, because a few of you think I’ve ‘lost faith’ in print, when I haven’t – I don’t think print will die. The post is a comment on the economic context, not on quality. Advertisers are taking their money where the eyeballs are – and for better or worse (both), that’s online and mobile.

    But I have 3 questions for you: have you ever paid for a newspaper purely to read a book review? Secondly: why did you trust that reviewer’s opinion? Thirdly, what do you do when you want to buy a book which isn’t new and hasn’t been reviewed recently?

  2. Ok thanks for replying, appreciate it. I saw the post as looking at the changes in the last 10 years and read between the lines that your conclusion was a death to print journalism. Thanks for clearing up that it wasn’t.

    Economically I agree that Print will struggle in the future however I thinks it’s important to recognise that the journalism industry would suffer hugely if print was to go. Online solutions are still unclear and until that is resolved I don’t think you could ever discredit print.

    As for your questions posed to me, personally I have never brought a newspaper to read a book review but that’s probably because I’m 21 years old and know about online websites, which could provide me with that kind of information. However there are older and more traditional people who love books and reading yet are not familiar with the online world. I’m sure some of these people would buy a newspaper for a book review. In terms of trust people build that over time. I just read in the Observer that the London Review of Books has quadrupled its circulation so shows that people still trust good print journalism and recommend it to others.

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