Paying for the Future

Linking to a couple of fairly thorough, interesting pieces about payment models for future journalism by Stephen Weichert, courtesy of the (always good value) Media Briefing.

Alternative Funding Models 1

Public and Private Funding Models 2

I say fairly thorough because – and I want to return to this at some point or at least begin a discussion about it – it follows a familiar pattern.

The question is presented as “how do we save journalism?” – but the actual question is “how do we save the existing industry?”

The discussion is predicated on a view of journalism driven by institutional models. There is an assumption that quality can only be protected by the continuation, in some form of those models. Even going so far as to suggest that, without making those models profitable, journalism will die.

It ignores a fundamental quality of digital media production; it makes the means of production accessible to everyone. It enables production on vastly reduced scales. If the institutions die – and they may well change or vastly reconfigure – that doesn’t necessarily mean that the sky is falling.

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