Zeit Online: Alan Rusbridger interview – ‘I’m an economic realist’

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger was in Berlin this week discussing the future of journalism with Zeit Online’s editor-in-chief Wolfgang Blau.

Rusbridger covers experimentation in the newsroom, Guardian journalists use of social media, collaborative journalism and – the elephant in the room – money and funding for journalism.

Being an economic realist I think it is likely that we’re going to have to operate with a smaller staff in the future because the money is not going to be there in the medium to long term. I think what I’m describing is economic realism too because if you an get over this hurdle where we have to produce all the content and we are the only people who are the authorities and the experts and other people can go along with us on this journey, you’re harnessing a lot of people who’s primary motivation might not be money…

I think we underestimate in journalism the value of publishing and having a voice. If you don’t understand that then you miss one of the most profound things about the web and the social web.

“We’re not opposed to charging for anything,” he later says, making particular reference to apps and the Guardian’s revenue of £40 million last year from digital products.

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