Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quality News Ain't Cheap

Right now I am a blogger. Every now and again, I get cocky and start thinking I’m playing with the big boy’s I’m not. Bloggers and digital media may eventually
supplant print media, but there are very real reasons why it’s not up to stuff right now.

Digital and print media share a similar problem in different ways. Capital. Journalism at it’s heart is the art of finding stuff out and telling people about it. Everything else is how to do that honestly and efficiently, but at its heart that sums it up.

Finding stuff out, especially the stuff that not any idiot could find out with a phone call takes capital, cash, green bills if you will. The same goes for telling people stuff in a way where they will listen. Even a 5 minute video package these days will take some sort of equipment. Heck even writing a blog takes a computer.

People like turning to the internet for content, but internet culture dictates that the end user should not bare the cost. Put simply people do not like paying for stuff on the internet.

That doesn’t change the fact that quality journalism costs, cameras, microphones, correspondents, content editors, video editors, copy editors, fact checkers, travel expenses. All of this costs money and nobody really wants to pay the cost.

Bloggers often can and do cut corners by parroting. Heck that is part of the point of the internet. That there is no one source of information. That in short you can’t stop the signal. Once it’s out there it’s out there. That serves a purpose, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that that is the same thing as carrying a 20 pound camera into Libya and nearly having your ear shot off, or even spending all night camped out at the Capital Building waiting to hear from the Senate. That’s not to say that a blogger can’t be a reporter, and a reporter can’t be a blogger. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but there is a difference between commenting on an interesting article and getting the info to be commented on in that interesting article. The later tends to take more time and money than the former.

That is what saddens me. Newspapers are shrinking because people don’t seem to get that. They think that the blogosphere will just take over. Bloggers at least from my own experience don’t have the money to do all the things legacy media can. It’s not to say that they won’t eventually, but right now both new and old media face the problem that people just don’t want to pay for the news anymore. If nobody has the money to do real journalism anymore than we have a real problem. Just because newspapers are being forced to do less doesn’t mean that journalism is less important.

P.S. The reason why I didn't do more about the local election is because I was packing for a family reunion trip.


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