We’ve been accused of being a bit morbid lately, too quick to write Old Media’s obit. So, today, we’ll let someone else do it.
San Jose Mercury News reporter Chris O’Brien opines that, for all newspapers’ “innovation,” nobody is going to get anywhere until this industry changes its business model (in other words, finds a damn business model).
“As I’ve watched these grand experiments in journalism, I’ve also felt some frustration. Don’t get me wrong: The various projects (including many being chronicled in this blog) are inspiring, groundbreaking, and I believe have made great strides toward a new, and possibly better journalism…
I see tremendous energy going in to breaking new ground in gathering news, telling stories, and creating community. What I don’t see is an equivalent amount of innovation occurring around the business models that will support journalism going forward. What I tend to see, over and over, is people experimenting wildly on the content side, and then falling back on the same old business model: Selling ads.
This model is dying.”
While O’Brien doesn’t offer a solution, he does list a few places that are trying to do things differently, including ProPublica.
You listening, Sam Zell?