The Future Business Model for Newspapers


King Kaufman is one of my favorite sports columnists ever, and it killed me when Salon changed his job description. But this isn’t about sports. It’s about the future of the newspaper business.

So, I wish newspapers would quit talking about this stuff and just start charging. They’ll quickly “understand the value” of their content, which, with rare exceptions like the Wall Street Journal, is something very much like zero, and then get to the real business at hand, which isn’t figuring out how to get people to pay for newspaper Web content, it’s how news organizations can generate enough revenue to do the important work they need to do.

This really does seem to be the problem to me–until the newspapers get that their chance to charge for online content has already passed, they’re never going to discover what the next model will be.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →