Quality Print Journalism Must be Supported by Readers

Tina BrownTina Brown, one of the best-known journalists in the English-speaking world, announced last week that she was resigning as chief editor of The Daily Beast. Right from its inception, the project she founded in 2008 to promote quality journalism on the Internet has battled with financial problems.

The Times of London comments (September 12):

“The recent experience of The Times is that large numbers of readers are willing to pay for high-quality journalism. And that there is no plausible alternative to that. The Internet supports many excellent free blogs, but the sort of journalism and production that goes into something like The Daily Beast has to be financially supported by its readers. Ms. Brown in her career suspended many rules, but this was one that cannot be suspended.”

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3 responses to “Quality Print Journalism Must be Supported by Readers

  1. Quality journalism will only thrive if it is built on a solid revenue model. Folks will only pay if they receive value. Value can mean wisdom, entertainment of a commercial tool. As the late Lord Roy Thomson remarked, “content is what we put between the ads.”

    An artistic experiment such as The Daily Beast does not comply with the realities of commerce.

  2. There is no rule that says media must be paid by the consumer? . Internet sites like “Daily Beast” should not consider themselves “print” journalism, because they are not a physical product delivered to your door, to be read and re-read in reception rooms, MD offices, old world libraries, or gifted. The consumer relates to the product/service more like TV and Radio, where content is largely supported through advertising at a cost/price per pair of eyeballs of set demographics. BBC is an outlier is being financed through subscription. Doubtful pay walls for all but the most premium websites will survive. There are too many ways to circumvent many/most. Isn’t the problem the reluctance of the advertiser to pay a sufficient rate per viewer? How might this change?

    • I added the word “print” only because that is what The Times was thinking about. The CBC produces quality journalism that is not financed by subscribers.