Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pay by the hit: didn't someone come up with this before?

But what healthy news organizations should really be offering this new breed of capable writers is a sort of insurance against unsuccessful articles consisting of an up-front payment for any piece of writing. The rest of the writer’s income should come from performance earnouts — another formula that is yet to be mastered. Keeping it to those basics would be a radical change from the wage-based compensation model of print, along with its sprawling hierarchy of editors and publishers, costly offices, expense reports and support staff. When that world meets the internet’s stripped-down operating model, there may well be money for good journalism again.

Nick Negroponte used to say this in 1994. Ahead of his time, I guess - and he didn't mention the "up-front payment".

Chris Morrison in Venture Beat responds to End Times in The Atlantic.

Here's a bit of that:
Regardless of what happens over the next few months, The Times is destined for significant and traumatic change. At some point soon—sooner than most of us think—the print edition, and with it The Times as we know it, will no longer exist. And it will likely have plenty of company. In December, the Fitch Ratings service, which monitors the health of media companies, predicted a widespread newspaper die-off: “Fitch believes more newspapers and news paper groups will default, be shut down and be liquidated in 2009 and several cities could go without a daily print newspaper by 2010.”

There is almost too much of this stuff now: journalism finally unmasked as a business! How much paper has been used to write about the death of newspapers? Is it just part of our self-flagellating times? The smart operators are somewhere else already: and that is called thinking.

No comments: