Traditional model for funding journalism needs to be changed



It can be seen that although newspapers still make profits, they are shrinking rapidly nowadays. On the contrary, digital news consumption has grown. The increasing development of the digital ecosystem of news outlets and the downward turns of economies are challenging the traditional news organisation model, which leads to the shift of consumer news patterns. Therefore, the traditional media industry is now facing existential crises.


Journalism’s survival is threatened due to its basic economic model: ad revenue. This is strange because we only need to pay the full price of the good when we buy a notebook or a pen. Whereas, when we buy newspapers, we have to pay for ads as well. What is more, journalism has its solemn civic duties and commitment to truth which influence the public. However, ads on the papers manipulate citizens as well.

The Internet is widespread currently, almost everyone has been used to the new approach to acquire information which is free, convenient and diverse. Majority of ads are swallowed by some huge web-based companies such as Google and Facebook,  which contributes to that online advertising spending surpasses that of the print advertising market. This makes that there is little money available to subsidize quality journalism. Consequently, things should be changed to save this serious situation.

According to Greenspon (2017,p.96), the journalist who did a report titled The Shattered Mirror, it is inadvisable to advocate tax tricks to restore the golden age of ad revenues. Instead, levying a charge on ad-heavy Internet platforms like Facebook and Google should be implemented. The money would go into a fund which can be distributed to traditional media institutions and paid for more actual journalism.

Some people misunderstand that journalism sells readers to advertisers. This will not be true and a new model of journalism would be promoted.



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