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Sunday, Jul 25, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Chrystia Freeland
Columbia Journalism Review (July 2010)

“A niche model can make a lot of money. What are the costs? ... Anyone who has spent time in a newsroom lately is familiar with the conversation—generally conducted in the “hushed tone you use for someone who’s just been through rehab or divorce,” as Bill Keller once put it—about the future of the news business. We’ve all figured out that Craigslist, Google, and other digital predators have decimated the print-advertising model, and that no matter how brilliant our Web sites, the shiny digital-advertising dime doesn’t replace that old print dollar. This leaves us looking to subscription payments, particularly online, where readership remains strong. But charging for digital content reduces traffic, which might jeopardize that meager yet growing digital advertising revenue (though some hope that charging more to a smaller, but more devoted, subscription-paying audience can make up for that loss).”


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