Johann Hari today

It\’s all really rather amusing. Journalist on failing, near bankrupt, newspaper insists that there must be subsidies for the entire newspaper industry.

Nothing like talking your own book, eh?

He\’s also wrong in fact as well as opinion. The LA Times (one of the papers he mentions as now being bankrupt) released some very interesting figures indeed a month or two  back. Their revenues from the online edition do indeed pay for their entire newsgathering operation plus it\’s dissemination over the web.

So there might be a financial crisis about the current distribution model, physically upon dead trees, but the core value which we might want to retain (I\’m leaving aside all of the arguments about whether we do or don\’t wish to retain such) of the newsgathering and the editorial team can remain as a purely online experience.

There will certainly be fewer such teams over in the US, where the previous local monopolies and their associated profits are now being competed away as distance doesn\’t matter on the web. But that will just make their newspaper business like ours has been for a century. Competing nationally for an audience and doing so by taking specific and particular emotional and political stances.

2 comments on “Johann Hari today

  1. I think the LA Times online revenues were merely equivalent to the salaries of the journalists, which is not quite the same as paying for the entire newsgathering operation and web publication. If I were in such a happy position, I would be completely screwed. And I haven’t any dead tree business to support.

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