Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Journalism and "The Price of Free"

MoneyWeek magazine summarised Mary Ann Sieghart's article, from The Independent:-
"If you read online without paying, you are 'hastening the demise' of well-informed, independent journalism.Online advertising doesn't cover the costs of a decent newspaper. Journalists are professionals who spend decades building their specialist knowledge and nurturing contacts. Without skilled journalists, 'the people in power would behave a lot worse'. The 'price of free' is that, before long, good journalism may cease to exist."
It seems to me that the interactiveness of new media has the potential to boost sales and create content. We see this in talent shows, reality TV and the comments that follow online articles.
Can we tap into the desire for interactive media in order to deepen the debate? I think we can, by designing a democratic website that promotes rationalism, empiricism and fairness.
The ideas and debates on such an Interactive Democracy site provide free fodder for journalists, everywhere. The debates may be summarised, analysed and commented on, promoting further interaction.
It doesn't eliminate the need for "specialist knowledge and nurturing contacts", nor should it. Neither does it secure a diverse and free media industry, but it does have the potential to give it a boost and to add diversity for the benefit of all.

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