For God’s Sake, Journalism

Nobody’s paying for content!

Why, you ask, would a program at the Democratic Party Convention include someone who is a big McCain contributor? Welll… it turns out that he is president of Liberty Media, which owns Starz, which is a sponsor of the program. Liberty Media is run by John Malone, who Al Gore famously dubbed Darth Vadar. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

He didn’t seem to think too highly of the blogosphere. And he was very, very worried about the future of journalism sincenobody was paying for content. Very worried. Indeed, one might almost think that he had an agenda, although it was never explicitly discussed. It was very odd, but to be expected, I guess. Corporate sponsorship of political events isn’t actually free, now is it?

Emphasis mine, because this represents a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of print journalists that leads to much of the print vs. blogosphere resentment and wankery.

There are free newspapers all over this country. There are newscasts which, if you own a television, you get for free. And you know what they sell to make those possible? Advertising. Jesus tits. When you sell ads for a newscast or newspaper you’re not selling the content on that page or airwave or site; you’re selling the attention of readers of that page or viewers of that show or site. You’re selling your audience. At least if you’re doing it right.

(Which sort of makes me y’all’s pimp to Blogads, if you think about it. I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better, you’re very expensive.)

A.

4 thoughts on “For God’s Sake, Journalism

  1. I don’t think it’s a misunderstanding, A. I think it’s a frustration. They want their content paid for directly, and they want their audiences captive and passive.
    It’s not that they don’t get how the system works, it’s that they don’t LIKE it. Because, as Spocko can attest, public pressure on advertisers can actually affect what they are able to report.

  2. If it makes you feel any better, you’re very expensive
    Remember what Al S sez:
    specialty acts, baby. That’s where the money is.

  3. Re: “You’re selling your audience.”
    That’s why I always liked those Playboy ads aimed at media buyers: “His lust is for life.”
    So that’s what they called it.

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