New Business Models for News – by “Max C”

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“This is a case of something close to what economists call market failure: Something is deemed important, but there isn’t enough of an incentive for the private sector – the market – to provide it on a broadly democratic basis.” —Ralph Whitehead, Jr., The Boston Globe

It’s no secret that journalism has fallen into a bad way. When the President of the United States takes the time to express concern about something, it’s probably worth noting. And while he notes that professional, investigative reporting is “absolutely critical to the health of our democracy,” he seems unsure that it will remain intact in this capricious modern age of new media. Various exciting, promising offshoots of journalism have appeared and begun to flourish thanks to the Internet — such as its citizen and social media derivatives — but as Rupert Murdoch noted at an FTC conference last week, “Good journalism is an expensive commodity.” And it is one that the World Wide Web has left largely without a financial platform to support it.

That’s why the discussion of new, innovative business models for journalism has become essential. And thankfully, that discussion has been happening — and continues to happen every day — in the blogosphere, in the editorial columns of the world, and on fantastic websites like CUNY’s News Innovation resource. But to our knowledge, no one web location has attempted to condense and distill all that discussion and information into an easily digestible, comprehensive format. It is with that in mind that we established this website.

We have set up a repository of lengthy, informative posts on what we think to be the eight main models that are the most discussed and pursued right now. In each analysis, we describe the model and the innovation that led to its birth, businesses and entrepreneurs who have pursued these models (and to what success), the probable future of the model, and the financial role we think the model is most likely to play in the long run. We also have a cache of Supplements, which includes other journalism/business model-related pieces we have written recently from conferences and various assignments.

We hope that you learn as much reading all of this information as we did in compiling it. Many thanks!

-Jakob Dorof, Sam Duboff, and Max Cutler

Website: New Business Models for Journalism

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