As you know, there has been endless discussion for a number of years about the crazy model adopted by newspapers in most parts of the free world in which they pay the enormous costs of running professional newsrooms only to give their content away free – while at the same time slashing newsroom numbers to save money as circulation and advertising revenues fall.I'm a fan of the NBR, and not only because they've been about the only outlet consistently covering the Hurly-BERLy. And, I'd far sooner pay for decent content than have it cease to exist. But it's a bit quick to blame the bloggers here. Bloggers aren't entirely parasitic on journalists; it's very much a two-way street. See here especially, but also here and here. In New Zealand, Kiwiblog's broken stories picked up without attribution by the mainstream.
And to add to the madness it has been the aggregators that have profited the most from the supply of that free news copy. Worse still the model has spawned a huge band of amateur, untrained, unqualified bloggers who have swarmed over the internet pouring out columns of unsubstantiated “facts” and hysterical opinion.
Most of these “citizen journalists” don’t have access to decision makers and are infamous for their biased and inaccurate reporting on almost any subject under the sun (while invariably criticising professional news coverage whose original material they depend on to base their diatribes).
It is only a matter of time before the model collapses. The alternative is newsrooms decimated to the point of processing public relations handouts or unedited government propaganda from their fully staffed team of spin doctors.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
I hope they're not talking about me
The National Business Review, New Zealand's leading business journal, today pitches for subscriptions, promising subscriber-only online content (no link, as from the emailed pitch).