Podcast: The Costs of Quality Journalism

Originally posted on Beyond the Book.

From fighting “fake news” to developing mobile-friendly display advertising, the many challenges for American news publishers cut to the heart of their businesses. On May 1, as industry executives gather in New Orleans for the annual mediaXchange conference, they have no shortage of pressing assignments to cover.

Demand for quality journalism may be at historical levels in 2017 but demands on journalism’s longstanding business models weigh heavily on reporters and publishers alike. It’s hardly breaking news that the news business hopes to innovate its way out of a digital dilemma.

The News Media Alliance, a Washington-based trade organization representing nearly 2,000 North American news organizations, works with its members to develop strategies and programs that can help sustain newsgathering operations and the communities that rely on them for reliable information. Paul J. Boyle, Senior Vice President/Public Policy for the Alliance, manages the group’s legislative and regulatory affairs, covering tax policy, copyright and, media ownership rules, among other issues.

“To produce high-quality journalism— where there’s original reporting, editing, vetting of sources— you need to explore various business models. It’s not just one strategy; it’s multiple strategies— trying to reach and connect and engage with audiences and then to monetize content,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

In November 2016, the Alliance launched a new effort to help so-called “media monitoring organizations” better understand the need for copyright compliance. MMOs aggregate various news sources and then deliver that to paying customers in business and government agencies, Boyle explained.

“They are aggregating content and packaging content for a commercial gain. There’s hundreds of [MMOs] internationally. They’ve been around for a very long time. Certainly, licensing of that content is important to bring back value to journalism so that we can continue to do the reporting.”

Click here to listen to the podcast of Beyond the Book’s interview with Boyle.

Click here for the transcript.


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