Yes, the business side matters

1 Jan


Economist Robert Picard has always been one of the sharpest thinkers about the nexus of economics and media. Today, he nails a topic that has long vexed me (and others): the willingness of journalists to stay in their newsroom cocoons, woefully ignorant of the business workings that for so long provided bountiful resources for newsgathering.

The full post is worth a read. (And, for that matter, Picard belongs in your RSS reader alongside the usual suspects like Romenesko, Mutter and Jarvis.) But if you’re skimming:

Journalists need to be equally responsible in ensuring they produce news and information that has value. They need to be responsible for ensuring their new organizations create the revenues and organizational strength needed to carry out high quality journalism. They need to ensure that organizational decisions make the organizations and the journalism offered viable.

If journalists continue to deny responsibility for the operation and survival of their news enterprises, it will be impossible to create sustainable news organizations for the future.

That, by the way, is what we aspire to at this humble little blog: Help create the future of news. It will be done by generating revenue, trying a multitude of new ideas, and thinking about the business as much as fretting about the perfect lede. (Believe me – the reporters I was privileged to work with suffered enough of that from me already.)

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