Sunday, July 10, 2011

Markets Supply Less News Reporting than Democracies Demand

Clay Shirky argues that news has to be subsidized, so it can be cheap and free:

"Most people don't care about the news, and most of the people who do don't care enough to pay for it, but we need the ones who care to have it, even if they care only a little bit, only some of the time. To create more of something than people will pay for requires subsidy....

"If for-profit revenue is shrinking and non-profit funding won't make up the shortfall, we need much cheaper ways of gathering, understanding, and disseminating news, whether measured in information produced or readers served.

"And news has to be free, because it has to spread. The few people who care about the news need to be able to share it with one another and, in times of crisis, to sound the alarm for the rest of us."

Via Boing Boing

Past posts about Clay Shirky:

The Cognitive Surplus Gets Personal, September 2010

Reporters Trapped in a Burning Business Model, October 2009

Shirky Debunks Walls Street Journal Story, May 2009

Here Comes Everybody, April 2009

More from Clay Shirky, March 2009

Working the Cognitive Surplus, May 2008

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