Guardian Editor: Some Newspapers Will Die Without Subsidy

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Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, who has already reshaped his paper in to one of the most ambitious reformers, offered his latest thoughts in a talk last week at Berlin’s Institut für Medienpolitik; here’s the video and some highlights…

“There is going to be a great shaking out in the next 20 years – there will be fewer big media organisations. The people who are doing serious journalism have to accept that that is not sustainable. In this interim period, where print is going (down) and digital is going (up), and there is a gap in the middle, bad things are going to happen where newspapers are going to die, there are going to be fewer journalists and the really pricey business of quality journalism is going to require subsidy from somewhere. It’s a broken model … you can cling on to that model but, in the end, you are just going to fall off the edge of a cliff.”

Rusbridger also delivered a lecture at Queen Mary, University of London – audio here, summary here.

Disclosure: paidContent:UK publiisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.

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Patrick

Alan made some interesting statements some of which seem at odds with the views of Newspaper executives we are speaking too.

Consider the following…

1) The revolution in Newspaper Publishing is upon us and the “Shake-Out” will be complete in less than five years – not twenty!
2) Journalists should care about the business models of the future – otherwise they will starve and the world will be reliant on second rate amateurs posting news titbits on Twitter and other social networks. Professional journalists make news interesting and entertaining to read. They must take responsibility for their own survival.
3) It is becoming clear that there is no longer any significant revenue opportunity in selling news (print or digital) on its own. New ways of subsidising journalism, news services and the like are emerging. Many News organisation are making money by attracting loyal readers and then cross-marketing and up-selling other content and services (usually via partners) to their audiences. It’s not rocket science, the Music and Film industries have been doing it for several years now.
4) The entire social, professional and business infrastructure of newspapers is changing fast – the industry (and ALL within and reliant upon it) must adapt or die.

Any one else have a view on this topic?

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