There are big discussions these days about whether or not media properties will continue to offer their products for free over the internet. Will newspapers begin charging for daily news? Will magazines require subscriptions for articles and analysis? Will TV programming sites like Hulu submit to a fee structure? There’s no question in my mind they will, so enjoy the free ride while it lasts.
Citizen journalism will continue to grow and be free. It will be localized, time sensitive and a very vibrant source of news. #carcrashamityville will turn up a story beating the local newspaper filings by hours. Blogger journalism and analysis will continue to be free but subsidized by book sales and speaking engagements. (When music piracy became a thing and musicians could make a living selling CDs, they acknowledged da monies was in concerts and merchandise sales.) Back in the day, valuable analyses and insight was sold in the form of paid newsletters, but that’s another business that has been drained.
Professional journalism and media production (audio and video) will have to be paid. Why? Because it will come with a branded, marketing infrastructure that requires upkeep. And though ad revenue will help, it can’t cover all the expenses. Peace!