It’s easier than ever to create content, including journalism, but it’s more difficult than ever to get paid for it. US public radio’s On the Media looks at this conundrum and finds: “One way to make money: Ask for it”. They look at crowdfunding and speak with Roman Mars of 99% Invisible about how he funded his third season with a Kickstarter campaign. In the end, he found out that asking for money actually connected him even more strongly to his audience. Inspirational.
In a departure from my normal blogging, this is an open letter to HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver on why I’m firing his bank after seven painful years as its customer. Mr Gulliver pocketed a $11.1 m bonus in 2012 despite money laundering fines and poor corporate performance. I worry that our banks aren’t just too big to fail but too incompetent to survive. I’ve fired HSBC, but it’s time to demand retail banking reform. The least that consumers are deserve is a modicum of competence.
Jeff Israely, of global journalism startup Worldcrunch, pushes back on the idea that journalism has always been subsidised. I think subsidy is the wrong word, but as with many of the current discussions around the business of journalism, we’re getting tripped up by the imprecision of language and some sloppy use of business and economic language. Yes, there is value in the core product of journalism, as Jeff says, but the real question is how to capture value (revenue) to support journalism.
Aron Pilhofer, the interactive news editor for the New York Times, has been quoted several times saying that the one day data journalism course he does teaches skills that if mastered cover 80 percent of the computer assisted reporting every done. ONE Day! he stresses, and he’s right. Getting your feet wet with data journalism is increasingly easy, and here is one Google spreadsheets tip that any reporter can use almost every single day when working with numbers.
I woke up this morning to what could diplomatically be called a bit of digital journalism friendly fire on Twitter. In response to my post about coming to terms with my decision to take a buyout from The Guardian in 2010, John Paton, the CEO of Digital First Media and a vocal advocate for the need for digital transformation at… Read more →
Building sustainable journalism is a topic near and dear to me as it is core to the work that I do now, and Hacks/Hackers London on Wednesday provided one of those rare times when you get to hear someone a real journalism entrepreneur talk about what has worked and what hasn’t with their start-up. Of course, it’s also great to… Read more →
This is a blog post that has been a long time coming. I simply hadn’t known where to start, and I’m the kind of blogger who doesn’t like to leave threads dangling. I need to get over that, and a journalist in the US inspired me with her courage in discussing why she left news. Allyson Bird, a woman in… Read more →
Of course, true to form, only hours after I published my previous post, three British press groups threatened to boycott any new self-regulatory body which might be underpinned by statue, the Guardian reported. Classy. As Alex Andreou at the New Statesman wrote, this really is a toddlers’ tantrum. Much of the press seems to be belly-down on the supermarket floor, punching the… Read more →
With respect to proposals over to reform the British press in the wake of ever widening allegations of phone hacking, computer hacking and utterly unethical behaviour, we’re seeing Greener’s Law in operation: Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel. The British press have been spilling a lot of ink and pushing a lot of pixels in… Read more →
For hardcore RSS users and journalists, a collective cry of anguish went up as Google decided to kill Reader. As New Zealand developer Aldo Cortesi put it, it wasn’t just the death of a single application but a serious blow to the RSS eco-system, an eco-system that he said was already “deeply ill“. The knock-on effects of the death of… Read more →