Internet norms spread to mainstream magazine

U.S. News moves shifts its print economics toward the Internet model.
Stephen Baker

In this article about U.S. New's aggressive push toward the Internet, one section grabbed my attention.

So far this year, its ad revenues have fallen off. And many of the ads it runs are not high-quality paid pages but instead the type of ads where the magazine is paid by the number of customer inquiries generated.

This shows that even their print edition is migrating toward a pay-per-click Internet model. This trend is starting with distressed publications. But with time, more and more of the mainstream will be operating on Internet economics. The question at that point: How to pay for independent journalism that will set them apart? Many will decide to forego it.

I still think it would be an exciting time to be starting out in journalism. The old gatekeepers are losing their grip. That means it's ripe with opportunity, especially for young journalists who have an entrepreneurial edge and a readiness to try out new technologies.

But in the new scheme that's only now starting to take shape, fewer young journalists are going to enjoy secure careers within big news companies. That chapter's finished. No, they'll be cutting deals, moving into partnerships, figuring out how to repurpose their reporting for video, audio, print, interactive--and other media platforms we have yet to see.

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