Finding the News, How Has New Media Effected Journalism?
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This past week I had the opportunity to consult with a national news publication. Their problem is all too familiar. Like most traditional publications worldwide, their subscription base is dwindling and advertisers are unwilling to put money into print advertising. They have a website but it doesn't generate enough money to support their business.
Reinventing The News
In the design space, everyone is waiting for someone to reinvent modern news. This of course, has yet to happen. The "successful" online news models are average at best, the most common being the sale of online advertising. But what worked for print isn't as effective as the web. Users confess to hating online advertising slightly less than subscription based services (the second most common model.) The least adopted is the "pay per article" approach that tries to turn news into a journalistic version of iTunes.
Like all complex problems, the issue is multifaceted. First, many claim to prefer print based news while also confessing to have canceled their subscriptions. It seems people think one way and behave another. Second, the methods of revenue generation are damaging to user experiences. Advertisements are intrusive, paywalls are unfriendly and content seems to be an afterthought. It seems the business of news and the users who will consume it are at odds.
What Are Your Thoughts?
So I ask you, how do you currently consume the news? Do you read it online? If so, how do you come across it? Did a friend share it with you or did you visit a website proactively? Second, how could a newspaper make money in a way that didn't both you?