Journalism is in an existential crisis: revenue to news organisations has fallen off a cliff over the past two decades and no clear business model is emerging to sustain news in the digital era.
No model is proving to be the saviour of journalism but experiments to figure out how to make money as news consumption moves online is ongoing. In our series Business Models for the News Media, we invited leading academics to comment on the efficacy and potential impact of some of those new models.
By looking closer at how news organisations are trying to stay afloat and relevant, this series also opens a window into the hopes and fears of an entire profession.
The Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post have all implemented some form of paywall, requiring readers to pay to access content. But others, like The Guardian and the Daily Mail’s MailOnline have not. It seems as though it works for some but not for others. Why?
The likes of Kickstarter and De Correspondent in the Netherlands raise the prospect of crowdfunding as a new funding model for journalism. Many see it as having the potential to make journalism viable for the future. But we may be kidding ourselves (to some extent, at least).
Can you spare a dime to support journalism? The micropayment model is betting that you can. And perhaps it’s right in certain cases. What if you can receive something unique, such as personalised news, for 10p?
The premise is simple enough: tech companies such as Facebook, Apple and Twitter are eating journalists’ lunch, so shouldn’t they at least pay for it? A levy on companies that benefit from journalism would help save the news business.
Would you join a “news club”? The Guardian is betting at least some of its future on launching a membership scheme which offers member benefits (talks, concerts among other things) to people who identify enough with its brand to join. Plus you get the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting something worthwhile.