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Doc Searls: Journalists’ Work Must Have Value

Doc Searls, co-author of the The Cluetrain Manifesto, in talking about the new ecology of news writes:  

…the larger trend to watch over time is the inevitable decline in advertising support for journalistic work, and the growing need to find means for replacing that funding — or to face the fact that journalism will become largely an amateur calling, and to make the most of it.

This trend is hard to see. While rivers of advertising money flow away from old media and toward new ones, both the old and the new media crowds continue to assume that advertising money will flow forever. This is a mistake.

He adds as the old model of advertising supporting journalism fades:

The result will be a combination of two things: 1) a new business model for much of journalism; or 2) no business model at all, because much of it will be done gratis, as its creators look for because effects — building reputations and making money because of one’s work, rather than with one’s work…

On the with effects side — money made with journalism, rather than because of it — perhaps the new institutions of journalism will become more accountable as journalism’s consumers pay its producers directly.

Of course, I fully agree, and that’s what we are trying to figure out here with my Representative Journalism concept  postings and your comments, how can we support journalism “because of one’s work…as journalism’s consumers pay its producers directly” rather one relying on advertising to pay the majority of the bills.

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    Leonard Witt

    Leonard Witt is the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and the chief blogger at PJNet.org.

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