By Michael Hickins, The faster Times
Blame fraudulent circulation numbers and editorial salaries that are still inflated by stock options to nonexistent profits on the dot-com era for the demise of the news industry, but whatever you do, don’t get deluded into thinking newspapers are going out of print because of free Web sites. As it turns out, news has always been free.
The likes of Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill and Mike Royko were subjects of bidding wars because they actually moved the needle, but the rest of us should be paid in line with the business value we deliver.
When newspapers and magazines first launched Web sites, the Internet was supposed to create a new revenue stream for the publications, sort of like e-commerce becoming a new channel for retailers. Papers should have been able to add Internet ads to print ads and subscription and newsstand revenue, all while modernizing their business models. So what happened?
Is it Craigslist? Is it the oxymoronic (accent on moron) idea that information wants to be free? That’s the prevailing idea, but it’s entirely false; as Jeff Sonderman at NewsFuturist.com has ably demonstrated, information has always been free, and newspapers have been especially free.
Photo Credit: judsond (Creative Commons)
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