The Increasingly Digital Business of News
Forthcoming in Witschge, Tamara, C.W. Anderson, David Domingo and Alfred Hermida (eds.) Sage Handbook of Digital Journalism. London: Sage Publications.
33 Pages Posted: 2 May 2015
Date Written: 2015
This chapter provides an overview over central aspects of the business of news, how it is changing, and where it is heading. I show how digital media, for all the potential they offer for the practice of journalism also represent a series of serious challenges to journalism as a profession because they undermine central parts of the business models that have sustained private sector news production in the twentieth century and so far offers few examples of new sustainable business models. This is primarily because increasingly intense competition between many different kinds of media in an increasingly convergent media environment leads to more dispersed audiences and drives down prices for both content and advertising. This makes it harder and harder to cover the high fixed costs associated with professional content production. The changes and immediate implications of the rise of digital are not identical or even necessarily parallel from country to country, as inherited market structures, varying preferences and regulatory frameworks have shaped the news business in different ways. Generally, though, these developments point towards an uncertain future where for-profit news media organizations play a relatively reduced role in an environment characterized by more media, including entertainment media, social media, and stakeholder media, more communications, including interpersonal as well as strategic PR, and less news, at least less original news produced by professional journalists.
Keywords: journalis, news, business, media economics, private media
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