The Domination of Online Media

Mainstream media suffered another loss yesterday with the announcement Howard Kurtz would be leaving the Washington Post and joining the Daily Beast.

A few weeks ago, Huffington Post announced the hiring of Newsweek's Howard Fineman.

Every week it seems the list of prominent MSM writers defecting to online media (now called digital media) grows while layoffs become more prevalent at newspapers and magazines like Newsweek.

Digital media is clearly winning. Here's an interview today with Daily Beast editor and founder Tina Brown. And yes, the Daily Beast is in "discussions" with Newsweek. Sounds like a merger of some sort may be in the works.

In another media shift, a number of former well-known newspaper reporters have joined the National Journal.

How will the newspapers cope? My guess is they will probably stop offering their content for free. But will there be anything left worth paying for to read?

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    I Don't Mean to be Snarky (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by msaroff on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:00:32 PM EST
    OK, Yes, I do mean to be snarky, but if you describe the departure of Howard Kurtz as causing an organization to have, "suffered another loss," I think that your accounting system needs to be reevaluated.

    Howard Kurtz leaving the Post, much as it would be for Krauthammer, is a plus for an instituion, not a loss.

    took the snark right out of my mouth (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:08:21 PM EST
    The fact that the beast and HuffPo are bragging over the snaring of Kurtz and Fineman lowers those publications in my estimation.

    I wish they would talk up some new, fresh writers instead.


    You are looking at it from a (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:09:29 PM EST
    partisan value position. This is about business. He was a business asset to the Post. He was there 29 years. It has nothing to do with whether your or I agree or disagree with his views.

    that's true. If the Post publishes sales numbers (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:12:37 PM EST
    we could track how many readers they lose because of losing Kurtz.

    I think it is a case of many factors contributing to the demise of newspapers, which in turn causes writers to jump the sinking ship. But that does not mean that those writers will add value to their new publications.


    Meh (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:31:21 PM EST
    I doubt he brought much business value frankly.

    the new Post Media reporter will quickly acquire the same value.


    I continue to believe on-line (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:16:21 PM EST
    "reporting" is heavily dependent on original material investigated and reported on by print media.  What will become of blogs if no linkage is available?  

    It is, completely agree (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:26:24 PM EST
    If online media wants to be relevant enough to boot MSM they will have to pack up the cheetohs and hit the road  seeking hot spots :)

    Note to self: Buy telecom stock (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:38:58 PM EST
    How long before our internet provider charges go way up?

    The unspoken suggestion ... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:40:05 PM EST
    in all this is that newspapers were healthy prior to the Internet.  Hint:  They weren't.  And they were whining about how television was killing them.

    Now they're whining about the Internet.  Which is ridiculous as the Internet offers newspapers the best chance for real success they've had since the days before radio.  

    For a decade they didn't see this.  Now they see it and are beginning to understand it.  Eventually they'll figure it all out.  And there will be much glad-handing and back-patting.  

    The irony is (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:26:59 PM EST
    that most of them still make a profit.  It's just that they don't make ENOUGH profit to make their corporate owners and shareholders smug enough.

    The Boston Globe has been going through a hellacious round of layoffs and buyouts and last year made all the news staff take a big pay cut under threat of closing the paper.  A few months later, the top NYTimes Company execs who own the Globe gave themselves giant bonuses that added up to almost what they'd made the employees give up.


    Gee, imagine my surprise (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 06:35:08 PM EST
    Sounds like way too many other megacorps.  This seems to be the current model.  Cut staff, force the rest to work harder for less money, and distribute big bucks to the executives.

    You got it (none / 0) (#68)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 12:35:21 AM EST
    Back in the day, when Ted Turner owned CNN and the Globe was family-owned paper, they considered it a public service, a duty and even a crusade to bring news to the people.  They hoped to not lose money, but they were more than willing to cover the losses if they needed to.

    Not it's all GE and what kind of profits have you made for me lately.


    Yes, it was a different era (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 01:50:39 AM EST
    Many of the very rich business people looked at their media holdings as a "calling,"  and, as you say, a public service.

    Most of those industrialists were diversified in their financial holdings and made plenty of money outside of their media possessions. Maybe it was guilt, or maybe it was altruism, but somehow "the news" held an honored place in most people's hearts. Even the TV networks were willing to lose money in their news divisions, while making money in their other programming.

    So many (bad) things can be traced back to their inception during the Reagan Administration. The 80's..... Gordon Gecko, "Greed is Good," and Ronald Reagan, "Government is the Problem," is the answer to the trivia question, "when did Humpty Dumpty have his great fall?"


    Why should the News business (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 07:47:39 PM EST
    Be any different than any other business? Millions of people play baseball, but only a millionth of 1% (or something like that) are good enough to do it professionally; that is, good enough that people will pay money to watch them.

    Today, of course, anyone can be a "journalist." But, like many here have already said, why would anyone go rushing to their paper, magazine, or computer to see what Howie Fineman or Howie Kurtz have to say about any subject? We already know they're pundits giving their opinions, not reporters breaking some new and interesting story.

    Just like I would pay to see Derrick Jeter play baseball I would pay to read Michael Kingsley, Seymour Hersh, Robert Friedman,  Donald Barlett and James Steele, and a few others. You know that these guys have original, and usually profound, things to say, whereas the others just give you warmed over pablum.

    In all professions certain people are a draw, and some are just drones. We've just begun the shake-out in the digital news business and we'll just have to wait and see who develops a following, and conversely, who is just a follower.

    Commentariats have also added a new twist (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ellie on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 08:42:02 PM EST
    Sinee Kurtz and Fineman rose to the height of bobbleheadedness. on a blog, no one will know them from Adam (Nagourney).

    If I'm consistantly reading a particular blog or columnist, it's for the combination of unique voice, expertise and the quality of the generated discussion.


    "Unique" is the key (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 11:50:01 PM EST
    The public is drawn to people who have some undefinable "unique" quality. There were plenty of good looking singers, why did we all fall for Elvis? Or boxers?....Ali, or bands?....the Beatles, or talk show hosts?....Carson.

    The proliferation of blandness today is, I believe, a direct result of the "dumbing down" of our citizenry (I believe deliberately) over these past few decades.

    The stunning power grab by the top 1% since Reagan introduced his "voo-doo" system of governess would be impossible if we had an educated populace.

    I know its boring, but education is the Holy Grail and is the only path to a brighter future for America.


    but the reporting? (none / 0) (#62)
    by dandelion on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 08:48:53 PM EST
    The question isn't who will pay for opinion, it's who will pay for the reporting the opinion is opining about.  Who will pay for someone to sit through trials, through planning dept meetings, through hearings, to sift through public records, to track down leads -- all that legwork and research work reporters did (or used to) do.  If no one will pay for that, what will the pundits be opining about?  Sure, citizen journalists can do some of that, but can they do it routinely without pay?  Should they?

    Judge bars witness--NYT. Still (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 12:49:31 PM EST
    a role for MSM, I think.  If they survive financially.  

    Some will (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 12:51:40 PM EST
    some won't.

    Actually (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 12:51:02 PM EST
    I think the Daily Beast is doomed to be either a vanity project funded by Tina Brown's friends or to fail.

    The Huffington Post, imo, did it a different way (and to be frank,I have no idea if it makes money, but Arianna has a lot of money so she can keep it going no matter what). It started out partisan, not mainstream. It sort of forced itself into the mainstream after the fact,

    Here's the problem - are you really interested in what Howie Kurtz or Howard Fineman have to say on their own merits? Or because they were the Main Stream Media?

    I think the answer - because they were the Mains Stream Media - will be told pretty quickly.

    Letme give you an example- the British guy who wrote for Time or Newsweek who would always go on Olberman's show but then had the conflict of interest, when's the last time you heard about him?

    I predict that a year from now Kurtz is not hardly thought of at all, and when he is, it will be because he kept his CNN gig.

    There is this strange belief in the DC Cocktail Party set that they are brilliant and have interesting things to say. Mostly, they don't.

    That's harsh! Does anyone (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 12:58:43 PM EST
    care what Froomkin thinks now that he is at Huff Post?

    I think he gets buried at HuffPo (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    It was a lot easier to find him at the Times or the Post or wherever he was. See, I can't even remember now. I haven't read him in a long time, and I do like his writing. And go to HuffPo almost every day.

    Did you know (none / 0) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:09:46 PM EST
    you can sign up to get notified by email every time he posts something?  A lot of multi-blogger sites do that now and it's useful when digging around to find the writer in a site you otherwise have almost no interest in is a chore.

    I like to at least keep up with what Froomkin is fulminating about, even if I don't always read more than the first few sentences.


    Apparently not (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:36:45 PM EST
    I like Froomkin but, to be honest, I did not read him that much when he was a the Post.

    Can't say why. But then, I'm not reading Ezra much anymore. I read Greg Sargent though.

    Blogging is a funny thing. Certain people grab you and some don't. It's not just topics or styles either.

    For example, I read Kevin Drum every day. But his style is not exactly barnburing.


    Query: do you read other bloggers (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:45:49 PM EST
    to obtain information or to see how each deals with a particular topic?

    Interesting question (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:06:52 PM EST
    which goes to your issue about the need for media outlets than do actual reporting.

    First, for news info, I'll generally read the Times just to see what's in the news.

    Second, I read Krugman cuz, well, he's Krugman.

    Third, depending on my mood, I 'll make the rounds of Greenwald, Drum, Yglesias, Daily Kos, Atrios and mostly they will lead me somewhere.

    Since I'm being chatty about this, let me describe how I did my posts today - read the Times, nothing jumped out at me.

    Saw Atrios on the train tunnel thing -at that is a story that as a part-time NYer has an impact on me personally, I clicked through. Then it got me thinking about what I wrote. Took about 25 minutes total.

    Then, I was still on Atrios' page, and saw the link to the Krugman blog post on monetary policy v. fiscal stimulus and that's an old saw of mine and I wrote that post. Took 21 minutes.

    Saw Yglesias thing on Kinsley's piece, read Kinsley's piece. Liked it a lot and had my pols are pols thing on and wrote that. 25 minutes.

    Looked around for a happy story. Could not find one. Went to Balloon Juice. got irked by a post there. Wrote mine. Took about 10 minutes.

    Was still on the Yglesias page in an open window, refreshed and saw the stupid post about achievements that pissed me off. In fact, I dropped a comment in his thread about it. Still was pissed. and wrote that post. Took about 20 minutes.

    Did other stuff. Hour and a half later, went to the Times and saw the piece on the economic forecast. Was still irked about the achievements thing and wrote that post - which was just a cut and paste. 5 minutes.

    Obviously none of the stuff today took much thinking or research so easy to just get to them.

    A well researched and written post might take an hour or so.

    So there, much more info than you asked for.


    That is a lot of time. (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:37:11 PM EST
    90 minutes (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:41:17 PM EST
    and to think we do it for free! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:52:02 PM EST
    90 minutes is a long time.

    It can easily take me an hour to write a single post. I will usually read three or four versions of the same news article before deciding which one to link to and quote from. Then there's research. And finding my older posts on the topic. And maybe a graphic. And on and on. I'm going back to work now, this is becoming depressing, thinking about all these news organizations and reporters making big money while we donate our time.


    Mayhill Fowler (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by dandelion on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:56:50 PM EST
    Mayhill Fowler has just posted a notice that she's quit writing for the Huffington Post because, except for the big names like Froomkin, Huffington Post doesn't pay writers for the content -- writers are supposed to be simply gratified by the exposure.

    I think this is a huge problem with online media -- they don't pay writers.    

    Most of my now-laid off journalist friends are finding that they just cannot support themselves, much less pay the expense of doing original reporting via online writing or by writing content on spec.  But then the Silicon Valley internet geeks I work with assure me "content yearns to be free."    

    If NO ONE is going to pay reporters, who is going to do the reporting?  We get lots of punditry and no investigating at all.

    Sure, traditional news media quality has really declined -- but part of the reason it's declined is that they've cut original reporting expense to the bone (as opposed to managerial expense) while insisting on previously unheard of ROI for shareholders.

    Online media, for writers, is what China is to autoworkers --- the engine forcing pay for work down to zero.  

    Anytime you click on Huffington Post, you're supporting an income model that reaps $$$ for Arianna while paying those who actually generate the work nothing.


    So, working for Whitman as a nanny (none / 0) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 05:46:19 PM EST
    is much more profitable than working for Arianna as a writer.

    Zing! (none / 0) (#65)
    by EL seattle on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 09:37:48 PM EST
    I think that would be a pretty good line for anyone's late night monologue.

    And the answer is... (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 09:04:46 PM EST
    If NO ONE is going to pay reporters, who is going to do the reporting?  We get lots of punditry and no investigating at all.

    The money folks on the Left and the money folks on the right will control what is written.

    The free Internet may turn out to be very costly.


    "Money people on the left" (none / 0) (#70)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 06:01:07 AM EST

    You mean like Al Gore and Current TV?

    Good point, especially with the new historical sitcom, "I Love Karl", that debuts tomorrow, and the controversial documentary, "Stalin, Misunderstood Good Guy or What?" set to be shown on Saturday, as part of their new "Leftist Weekend" programming stratergy.


    I rip and run (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 03:00:36 PM EST
    Get Vox and 'Speak Your Piece' (or shout it) (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ellie on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:53:48 PM EST
    ... at the computer, as I often do.

    Handy, too, for annotation right within digital content that you might need to write about or reference later.

    A HUGE assist for taking notes while reading dead tree stuff; just cite the page No/passage in the audio.

    You can speech to text it if need be. Leaves hands free to gesture ma'bafangool at the cause of your ire OR pet a nearby cat or nephew.

    Just sayin.


    vox is closing down (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:08:13 PM EST
    what about Tumbler?

    I use the term 'Vox' as generic, not a brand ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Ellie on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 06:43:32 PM EST
    ... since the market bloomed with so many Speech to Text (and vice versa) dictation software from back in the day, when we were kind of cultish. I've been using Dragon for almost a decade and never looked back. (I really should upgrade one of these days, but I've got it tweaked so it's practically a bionic part of my body.)

    For computer-memory's sake, I mouse commands to the computer and dictate my correspondence and notes, though I can squawk commands at the computer if I want.

    It's also great for anyone who frequently works in a "hands on" situation, whether rifling through files or (TMI warning) talking one's way through the steps of an upcoming big project to create a task map and formulate a budget.


    If only they were billable hours...

    Got it. The higher the "irk" quotient, (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 07:24:50 PM EST
    the more likely BTD writes about something for Talk Left.  Makes sense.  

    Portrait of a blogger as a young man (none / 0) (#73)
    by lilburro on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 08:19:43 AM EST
    I notice you didn't list TPM.  I don't know if running constant "Republicans are insane" material is working for them, I guess it is, but I can't read it.  

    Blogging is definitely time-consuming but I'm thankful you guys do it.  I wasn't able to keep up with it.  I find unpaid bloggers more interesting to read than paid ones.


    Not burning the barn (none / 0) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:13:23 PM EST
    is a nice relief sometimes.  I disagree with Drum fairly frequently, but he's usually got pretty interesting, far-flung stuff that's grabbed his attention, and his writing is clean and clear as a bell.

    I think the question is where (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    will people turn to for the news? It's not a question of any one journalist, but the stable. If the bulk of well-known reporters are at online sites writing breaking news and commentary and providing analysis, more people will go there.

    Daily Beast is backed by big money too -- Barry Diller -- and if they are able to pay the big salaries (and it seems they are) their models are working.

    Daily Beast is not in direct competition with HuffPo. It always covered more than politics and began as mostly an aggregator. That it has become a site with good original reporting speaks to Tina's acumen. Huffpo started with "citizen reporters" and slowly gained MSM ones. It has become an empire and the blogging seems to me now to be a small part.

    I think both Daily Beast and Huffpo will succeed big time while the papers and news magazines will struggle and try to adapt, and it will be too little too late.

    The AP and papers don't spend money anymore to send reporters to sit through trials. They can't afford it. HuffPo (and I bet Daily Beast) will. I'm glad they are there and that competent and respected journalists are joining them.


    Also (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:50:22 PM EST
    defining "success" is not easy when deep pockets are willing to bankroll losses.

    Suppose, for the sake of argument, Daily Beast is losing 10 million a year. That's chump change for Diller. He could lose that for 20 years and not even think about it.

    The Post and The Times are honest to goodness businesses that have to look at the bottom line.

    Also, I disagree with the idea that Daily Beast is going to have a big impact in the news business if hiring Howie Klein is the first move.

    Arianna hired news reporters first. Kurtz stopped being a reporter a long time ago and he;s no editor.

    Here's something that might happen - that silly guy who was the editor of Newsweek, the religious guy who was 38 going on 70? I could see Tina Brown hiring him to be "the Washington editor" or something like that.

    Here's where I disagree with you - I do not think Tina Brown is adept at the "digital" format for what she is good at.

    I just looked at her site and she seems to have mimicked the Huffo/Drudge thousand link setup (which I can stand personally).

    That's great if you are breaking provocative stories all the time. I don't think the Daily Beast does that.

    The once a month big story is Brown's expertise. Online, that's death.

    Here's another interesting comparison - if Rolling Stone wanted to go digital, I think they could do it with subscription rates, maybe with a few free teaser articles. I think Brown could have taken an existing traditional media book - she ran Vanity Fair right? - and transitioned it, with some assistance into a combo digital vehicle as well.

    I think she is going at this the wrong way - if she is interested in actual real world success - I mean she's doing just fine for herself without my "advice."


    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:44:40 PM EST
    Here's something that might happen - that silly guy who was the editor of Newsweek, the religious guy who was 38 going on 70? I could see Tina Brown hiring him to be "the Washington editor" or something like that.

    Jon Meacham....maybe Tina can lure him away from semi-retirement at PBS


    Please! (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:17:24 PM EST
    And take that wretched smirking female with him!

    It's interesting to watch people like Arianna and Tina Brown and even CNN try to mold their operations, but PBS's fumbling attempts to make news hip and cool are just plain embarrassing.


    LAT's sports columnist T.J. Simer (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    has been sitting through the McCourt marital dissolution trial.  It is interesting to read his take on courtroom antics, waffling witnesses, attorney questioning attorney witness.  

    Kurtz's job (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:32:43 PM EST
    will be filled I assume.

    I read a small local daily (town in which I grew (none / 0) (#4)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 12:57:01 PM EST
    up)online and today there was a notice that the online version will no longer be free to us non-subscribers.  Pay the $10.95 monthly fee or else!!!  I'll just have to quit reading it.  The only thing it was good for was to laugh at the letters to the editor.  

    Until quite recently I have had (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:01:41 PM EST
    daily subscription to LAT or NYT.  Finally stopped subscribing as the papers piled up and it is harder and harder for me to read the NYT's print.  But--I check both papers on line for free almost daily. Kind of sad, as I would miss each paper if it disappeared.  Arts coverage, you know!

    Yeah, I get the NYT online daily - comes to my (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:50:55 PM EST
    inbox and it's the first thing I read every morning.  I will have to pay the subscription fee when they begin that, but I won't pay for some small town rag that's only good for laughs!  

    For me time has become more of an issue (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ellie on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 03:02:02 PM EST
    I used to read the daily NYT or LAT (depending on location) as a morning breakfast/treadmill accompaniment. One or the other, a weekend must for Sunday AM loafing and brunch.

    Now I'm more likely to be in motion so the articles I want are on my netbook or palm. I still love lying on the floor on Sundays, surrounded by a paper.


    We read our local in print form on Sunday (none / 0) (#43)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 03:15:13 PM EST
    mornings in bed with the dogs!  Otherwise, it's online first thing in the morning with the local, NYT and a couple of others.  Will have some major decisions to make when I have to start paying the fee.  Don't mind paying - just have a limited amount of funds to go towards that kind of thing.

    Tax time I weeded out a lot of Subs that I just (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Ellie on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 03:35:41 PM EST
    ... wasn't using, after shamelessly listing them as Dependants (which I DEFY any individual or entity to contest.)

    The strewn Sunday papers are also good for absorbing random spills from the brunchables and assemblage.


    Funny! (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:21:20 PM EST
    You're so right.  I only get my county biweekly (superb, actually) paper in the flesh, so to speak, and I do that so I can clip out notices and/or ads of interest.  Also I need newspaper for gardening and for starting fires in the woodstove.

    Two of my state's 4 (none / 0) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:18:55 PM EST
    decent papers just disappeared behind a paywall, and the Boston Globe is headed there soon.

    I think TV news has suffered a (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:06:06 PM EST
    precipitous decline in quality just in the last two years. The number of absolute puff pieces is ridiculous. For example,  a friend  told me CNN recently covered the story of an 11 year old girl who ma$turbates (not sure if that word is allowed). That's news????

    I see the decline as coinciding with the ubiquity of the portal news sites---yahoo, msn, etc.---which try to keep interest by leading with teh stupid. TV news seems to be following suit.

    Pixels are cheap, ink and paper are not (none / 0) (#11)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    As for Pay-walls, they have been proven time and time again to be failures.  

    paywalls have failed in the past (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:14:52 PM EST
    but the papers may have no other options. Advertising has not worked out for them and with the dwindling eyes, is unlikely to in the future.

    People will always pay to read a giant like the NYTimes, WashPo, WSJ, etc.

    The WSJ only has limited free content now and it makes money. (It's also the only one I pay for -- and it's more than $100 a year.) If all of the major papers collectively and at the same time go to a paywall, so there are no options besides new online media, I think people will subscribe, and then talk about "the good old days" when the internet was free and how everyone knew it was too good to last.


    The thing that irritates me (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:55:39 PM EST
    about the Wall Street Journal is that we pay a good bit to subscribe to the paper-and-ink version, but we would still have to pay for the full online content.  I feel that we give them enough money for the subscription that we ought to get the full online content as part of that.  I refuse to pay extra for it.

    How much of the decision to pay for WSJ (none / 0) (#18)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:23:39 PM EST
    is business based vs personal consumption desires?

    it's all personal (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:45:52 PM EST
    I don't have any business interests or interest in finance or stocks. I only subscribe because of TalkLeft. I like their news reporting and find stories there to write about. I ignore their editorial stuff.

    Pixels are cheap for now (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:52:26 PM EST
    At some point the internet service providers/telecoms are going to start charging more for either hosting the sites or we users accessing the internet.

    Remember when our phone bills were going to go way down because of the competition? And our cable bills?


    My paying "job" comes from two small (none / 0) (#41)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 03:00:46 PM EST
    technology companies I founded.  Bandwidth used to be the big cost/price driver.  Now, I spend more effort managing electric consumption costs of our servers as that is where the hosting companies are squeezing.  

    I use VOIP and only pay ~$30/month for all calls even overseas.  Have a "local" UK number that Mrs. BTAL's mother dials there that rings hear so they can talk for free.  


    Actually your lomng distance (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 09:13:39 PM EST
    and basic local service has gone down.

    You are probably paying for CallerID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Three Way Calling.

    What has gone up is the taxes.

    As for ISP... Bellsouth/ATT charges around $28. for a T1...They use to lease for around $1500 a month...

    Unlimited LD in US for $15.00.


    They want to gawk and chew gum at the same time (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ellie on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:46:12 PM EST
    For years these august "defectors" have been complaining about the cred of Short Pants Media, AKA bloggers, while all along envying its puerile cafeteria food-fight culture:

    the freedom to be vapid or activist or do in-depth research on a pet/partisan cause. The blogosphere is a big Come As You Are space where anyone can hang a shingle (and live or die by that).

    If anyone outside Punditstan gave a sh!t about Long Pants-Wearing Fineman and Kurtz before, I'm guessing even fewer will be impressed that they're now doing it in Hot Pants.

    Leverage the IPad ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by nyrias on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 01:49:34 PM EST
    and fund all content by ads.

    That is probably the way to go. The model probably will work since the marginal costs of product is going to be zero.

    So as long as you have enough eyeballs, you can afford a fixed content producing staff.

    I don't know...I'm only a sample of 1 (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 02:55:37 PM EST
    but I don't pay for apps that have ads on my iPad. The ads would have to completely support the content for that model to work with me. I would pay for ad-free subscriptions though, as I do now with salon.com.

    I won't watch videos with ads (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 04:13:43 PM EST
    and I log off from a site immediately if sound plays without me turning it on. I also try to link to sites and news articles with a minimum of ads. I've refused to put a banner ad on top of Talkleft even though it might generate some cash, but I'm considering allowing an ad between the first and second posts on home page. It would be a big step though and I'm not sure I'm ready. Ads don't bother me in sidebars.

    I also won't use paid apps that force ads on me.


    I say put up the ad (none / 0) (#72)
    by lilburro on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 07:58:09 AM EST
    I am sure there are other concerns than this one, but I doubt your readership would mind.  I would scroll through seas of ads to read TL.

    Local news and cultural info, but... (none / 0) (#44)
    by NealB on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 03:23:40 PM EST
    ...even that, the free competition would quickly erode even those subscribers. Our local paper could be replaced; there are probably already other local sources online that are as good or better.

    That was Jeralyn (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 07:09:33 AM EST