It is no secret that the traditional newspaper industry is slowly dying, due to the development of digital news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Telegraph. With the decline of sales, loss of advertising revenue and profits suffering, the question that got everybody thinking is, how do we fund the future of journalism?
Though profit-making might not be the primary focus of journalism, the process of investigating, independent reporting, and collecting resources definitely cost tons of money and is vital in producing real journalism.
But how do we fund journalism once the giant profit-making channel (aka traditional newspaper) die?
Martin Moore, the founder of Media Standards Trust, believes that there are ways to fund journalism in the future: sponsors from digital market leaders like Google or annual subscription/charge for readers. Since digital giants like Google and Facebook are becoming the main source news from journalists, it is only sensible for journalists to receive a portion of the profits to further expand the life of journalism.
As without the content creator (journalists), there will be no news to distribute.
Now there are other ways to fund journalism, including crowdfunding. However, this only works in certain situations where the society are really willing to spread the act of journalism by donating.
Now that we have discussed some possible ways to fund journalism in the future in case the traditional newsprint is out of business, is it really true that traditional newspaper will have absolutely zero chance of surviving in the future?
Sure, the sales of newspapers are decreasing, but it is also true that it does not happen simultaneously around the world.
For instance, in Indonesia, where the number of people living in rural villages takes up to 46% of the country’s population, the presence of traditional newspapers is more significant than ever. With little to no internet access at all, the quantity of traditional print medias is far from declining.
Personally, I also find that not everything is better online. Sure, it is more convenient to get the quickest breaking news online. But personally speaking, if I’m trying to read in-depth articles, editorial or opinion piece, reading it off traditional newsprint is far more convenient. As there is less distraction, and clutter, unlike off a website, that might have popup ads or some sort.
If we look at it this way, perhaps, just perhaps, the future of journalism is not as gloomy as it seems..