Can News Be Made Into a Sustainable Business?

Of course, as Ms. Haines said, “there is no point in making journalism if people can’t afford it.” And so the conversation transitioned to the question of funding a business hurt badly by the hemorrhaging of its longtime predominant income stream, advertising, and other fiscal forces.

“You can’t do a big investigation if you are not covering the city council every day,” said Sara Just of “PBS NewsHour.” You can’t find out who the corrupt mayor is if you are not there every day.” The disappearance of that kind of local journalism, she said, is what “worries me the most. That’s not going to be the for-profit center, but it is how we find out what’s going on.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, whose publication, The Atlantic, put up a paywall shortly before the pandemic, argued for a subscriber-funded model: “Our industry made a mistake 20 years ago by giving away quality journalism for free…

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