Great post from Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust, on paywalls, business models and collaboration in journalism. The post is worth reading in full, but some of the important points Moore makes include:
- The future of advertising as part of a newsroom’s business model:
The paywall is not the only way to sustain the digital newsroom. Advertising – much maligned by many – could yet make online non-paywall newspaper content viable within 5 years.
- The problems with paywalls:
Even if paywalls provide a secure financial future for news organisations – which right now seems unlikely – they will reduce the pool of shared information, and cut those news organisations’ content off from the openness, sharing and linking that characterises the web.
But perhaps most interesting in the post is Moore’s own suggested model for news and revenue – the ‘carrier pigeon model’:
In this model you let people share, link to, recommend, search, aggregate, and even reuse your content – you just make sure it’s properly marked up and credited first, so you can keep track of it, and develop revenue models off the back of it. You do this with – excuse the geek terminology – “metadata” (…) I call it the “carrier pigeon” model because the news doesn’t just go out, it comes back.