Journalism without ads? | 802 Online

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Journalism without ads?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Sorry for the blogging hiatus. I really should have taken a day off after returning from San Fran, just to get my ducks in a row, but I didn't. And now I'm paying for it.

Here's an interesting opinion piece about journalism from Edward Wasserman, a j-school prof at my alma mater, Washington and Lee University. Incidentally, I didn't actually study much journalism there — I was an English major.

Wasserman wonders, "Can journalism live without ads?" I wonder that, too.

Modern computing offers unparalleled capacities to track andcalculate. Imagine a vast menu of news and commentary offered to youad-free for pennies per item, the charges micro-billed, added up andpresented like a utility bill at month's end. The money that journalismproviders got would depend on their audience.

Plus, if youuploaded comment or video in response, to the degree it was downloadedby others you'd get credited for it -- compensated like any otherprovider.

Interesting. I looked into the micro-billing option a few years ago, when I was working for cartoonist Alison Bechdel. At the time, it seemed that there weren't any good ways to micro-bill. Has that changed?

I wish there were a way to either 1) allow people to pay a small fee if they choose or 2) make some things pay per view (like, pay a few cents per view), in exchange for dispensing with ads online.

I'm not sure how I feel about it all yet — as a media-lover or as a media company employee — but I'd like to know more about what's out there.

I should add that I'm not really sure that removing ads is a good idea — not just because they pay my salary, but also because I use them as a source of information. A different type of information, to be sure, but they're a source nonetheless.

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About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired... more

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