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Information wants to be free, reporters want to be paid, Part 12

Our old friend Jeff “The Newspaper Sky Is Falling” Jarvis is at it again with an online video spelling out his prescription for what ails us.

He has a point with his line about how in the distant future there may not be a need for every newspaper to cover every major national and world news event. He says news media can “do what they do best and link to the rest.”

I doubt that future is as close as the City University of New York professor suggests. There still is no place in most cities where advertisers can reach as many potential customers, the Internet is simply too vast, too cluttered. The newspaper is still the most convenient news outlet, the fastest browser available, if you will.

Jarvis uses the phrase “I believe” a lot. When some reporter tells me what they believe, I tell them, “I don’t care what you believe, show me the evidence and the facts that will allow me to make up my own mind and find what I can believe.”

So for me, I suspect that one of these days 30 or 40 major daily newspapers might form a coalition, abandon the old wire services model that takes member news content and gives it away for free, and create a Web site or Kindle-like news service in which each does what they do best and each is paid for its readership through subscriptions and/or advertising.

Professional journalists somehow need to earn a living. We sometimes look upon our job as a calling, but we did not take a vow of poverty. It just worked out that way.

Meanwhile, read more by and about Jarvis at his Buzzmachine.com blog.

Listen to his spiel here:



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