Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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How to save newspapers

Time Magazine is wrong.

As newspapers — and by extension 80% of all original reporting — face extinction, along with print, the magazine says websites should charge $.10/day or $2/month to access the news. Author Walter Isaacson says this will offset the loss of subscription and classified revenue so creative journalists can still “get paid” in addition to advertising, which isn’t performing well online.

As a freelance journalist, nothing would please me more than getting better pay for the work I do. But I think Isaacson is off the mark — people will never pay for commodity information online (remember the failed “paid” content idea?). If network TV news can survive (while some even thrive) on advertising alone, why can’t websites? Isn’t the idea to stay lean and mean and choose your reporting battles, which can be expensive (say… stationing a full-time journalist in Iraq like the LA Times does on its constituents’ dime)?

Anyone got any ideas? Otherwise, our ability to watch guard government, corporations, and the public through journalism could be compromised.