I was asked today to provide one key thought about te future economics of journalism. Here’s what I said:
The future economic supports for journalism will have to be multifaceted, because no single stream will do it. There will be direct support from users — subscriptions, per-click, patronage, donations. And there will be indirect support — advertising. But I think the advertising piece will be vastly smaller than than it is today because the big marketplaces are going away. Advertising in the future will be one-to-one, practically, so the application of news as a driver/draw will just not be there. Journalism will have to stand on its own. And that means we will have to make the case for its relevance to citizens and to democracy every day. There will be a real divergence between entertainment journalism — which will be supported by third-party sponsors who are trying to sell a product or service — and accountability journalism, which will be supported by third-party sponsors who are selling ideas and change.
— Bill Densmore