Funding or I.O.U.?

How is journalism funded in this digital age? Its a question that’s been a regular around the block.

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Waldman from the NYT has technology painted as this villainous force that has swooped in to steal from the helplessly illustrated journalists. The theft in question, involves a steady revenue that mainly streams from advertising. I’ve dramatised this current issue to create a double-take and ask ourselves whether the exodus of traditional news is something to be pitied. After all, isn’t it all a little contradictory for the news organisations to accuse innovation and demand compensation in losses, as they themselves represent a mode of journalistic evolution in delivery? Matthew Ingram, writes in his Fortune piece about the arguments made that tech giants (Facebook and Google in particular) ‘owe’ the journalism industry payment for hogging stakeholders.

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Ingram places himself on the disagreeing side of that notion, as well as I, but he did leave some traces of enlightenment. Let us play advocate and say that these tech giants should pledge financial support for journalism in the digital sphere. What then?
Vulnerability exists a risk-factor in this ‘charity’ setup where the donors have business weight to throw around. This power share is worth thinking about as they might stymie freedom in workings that they don’t necessarily agree with. Additionally, for a journalistic corporation to flourish, funding should be its only prior hindrance. In other words, funding isn’t the only key player in the digital sphere. As Bell and Owen from the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism reports, other elements such as content, competition, and types of audiences, can bring journalism sits down just as quickly as loss of revenue can.

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