From ad blockers, to Facebook and consumers who refuse to pay. It’s the challenge facing digital news and no one’s sure what the solution is.
ERIC BEECHER: They are heading towards the cliff and it’s not their fault but they are heading towards the cliff really fast ... I think that cliff is, for everybody, is within a year or two or less. — Eric Beecher, Chairman, Private Media
Hello, I’m Paul Barry, welcome to Media Watch. And who exactly is heading for that cliff?
Well it’s not just newspapers this time it’s the whole shebang.
According to former Sydney Morning Herald editor Eric Beecher, who’s now a digital publisher, digital news sites are also struggling to survive and public interest journalism is at risk.
So tonight we’re bringing you a special edition of Media Watch because the future of news has never looked bleaker.
In the past 7 months even the stars of the internet have suffered with Vice, Salon, Mashable and Gawker all laying off staff.
Buzzfeed has been forced to cut its 2016 revenue forecast by half or US$250m.
And the famous digital tech site GigaOm was last year forced to shut down operations completely
So what on earth is going on? Well, it’s getting harder and harder for news sites to sell ads for decent money because as Eric Beecher knows from personal experience—and I should disclose I have a small stake in his media business —everyone on the internet has an electronic billboard to fill.
• JDDN in Comments: It has nothing to do with the platform of revenue, rather the quality of content that is being produced. I think you’ll find a correlation between loss of revenue and terrible click bait, biased ‘SJW’ themed journalism …
• Mike in Comments: I know it might sound like an absurd idea, but perhaps they could try telling the truth for a change? …
• Katharine Viner, Guardian: How technology disrupted the truth Social media has swallowed the news – threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. But the consequences go far beyond journalism …