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April 6, 2009

Newspaper Business Model

-- by Dave Johnson

People used to subscribe to newspapers because they contained news. And then, because so many people were reading newspapers, advertisers would place ads to get in front of all of those readers.

The business model was that doing a good job of providing a good product would pay off. The product was the news. The customer was the reader.

This changed. There was money to be made, and the money became the goal, not the news. This meant that the product became the reader, who was sold to the advertiser. This is a very different business model. When the business model is no longer selling news to the reader, news gathering becomes a secondary consideration -- a cost, a distracting irritation. When the business model is attracting readers instead of gathering reliable news sensationalism and titillation takes priority over accuracy and responsibility.

The result was inevitable -- readers who wanted news turned elsewhere when they stopped finding news in the newspapers. And readers who were there for entertainment moved away from that medium to newer, more entertaining mediums.

This is part of a larger trend in America -- where the business model became short-term exploitation of the consumer rather then long-term service to the consumer.

Posted by Dave Johnson at April 6, 2009 1:36 PM


This is really well said.

Posted by: Brian Krenz [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2009 2:45 PM

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