Tim Luckhurst

Please, go read your Adam Smith again.

Since free trade replaced mercantilism, liberals have recognised that capitalism can do good even if that is not its first objective. The benign force Adam Smith called the \”invisible hand\” was instrumental in the creation of modern journalism.

As Gavin Kennedy indefatigably continues to point out, the one reference to \”invisible hand\” in Wealth of Nations is to manufacturers preferring to employ their capital at home rather than in the foreign trade.

As to the rest of the argument: well, newspapers aren\’t the first and most certainly won\’t be the last business models to be brought to the ground by technological change.

And I do know of people managing to produce an online newspaper with costs covered by the advertising revenue to be had online. Their model is not exactly the same as the traditional newspaper one, this is true. But they are still speaking truth to power, which is what Luckhurst thinks is the point.

3 comments on “Tim Luckhurst

  1. “And I do know of people managing to produce an online newspaper with costs covered by the advertising revenue to be had online.”

    The Register does very well indeed. It’s about growing a business to fit the possible revenues, not the other way around. Fleet Street has been running with huge costs for rather a long time, where as El Reg is rather more trim.

    I don’t see why we should wail and gnash teeth then pass laws to protect the buggy whip generation from the modern era.

  2. “The Register does very well indeed. It’s about growing a business to fit the possible revenues, not the other way around. Fleet Street has been running with huge costs for rather a long time, where as El Reg is rather more trim.”

    The editor of The Times was recently talking about the costs of producing a newspaper and how it had cost tens of thousands to send someone to Sri Lanka to report on the problems there. I had to wonder why they couldn’t find a local to do the job for them.

    But I suspect that it falls into the thing that happens to businesses who have enjoyed a position of relatively little competition – they find it hard to adjust downwards and feel entitled to what they’ve had (look at the state of BA now).

  3. “look at the state of BA now”

    Poor bastards. They are virtually gridlocked by multiple and long-standing agreements with various unions and can’t adapt. Call it legal cruft. Just like Windows cruft, a rebuild and reinstall is necessary from time to time.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.