I love this one. Too often over the past few years I’ve heard people justify hard paywalls with statements like ‘good journalism costs money to produce’. That’s true – but it should be the start of the conversation, not the end. What, for instance, about the people who can’t afford to pay for news? Do they not deserve to be informed about the world in which they live? And where do they then turn for news except the disinformation-rife ecosystems elsewhere online?
In Spain El Diario is taking an approach that prioritises that cohort: “the brand caters to those who cannot afford to pay for membership by offering reduced pricing and zero fee options. ‘Our members don’t pay us to read the news; they pay us to support our journalism to build a better and more democratic society,’ said Esther Alonso, El Diario’s Marketing and Membership Programme Director.”
The entire write-up is worth your time, for insight into how that zero-fee scheme works. We need more of this. As much as it’s true that journalism doesn’t exist without financial support from readers, it’s also true that there’s no point in it if it doesn’t help the public.
This fascinating look at the challenges of being a smaller publisher in the US is replete with some of the technical challenges of going digital. From small teams of tech specialists who take all the newsrooms’ expertise if they leave to chugging internet connections, there’s a lot that needs to happen before consumers can even pay for digital news at some outlets.
My latest for The Drum takes a look at some of the likely reasons why C4 reportedly splurged a huge amount on a deal with Amazon to air the US Open final. I also take a little look at why Amazon invested so heavily in live sport to begin with.
Published only a few short hours before Neil’s humiliated exit from the channel he helped found, The Times published a look at the channel’s likely future. Only the most venal of the media commentators didn’t predict this coming: when you have the tiger of populism by the tail you can’t very well let go without it biting you – hard.
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