Friday, December 24, 2010

The future of newspapers

I love Clay Shirky. He distills information and comes up with a completely different way of looking at things. And then his ideas seem like common sense.

Shirky thinks the current, 20th century format for newspapers will never last. There's no point in even trying to keep that idea going. The Internet gives you the precise information you want, rather than having you buy the classifieds, news, etc. when perhaps all you want is the sports. Advertising is mostly going to the Internet as well, so the income stream for newspapers is dwindling.

In this article, the big question is, who will pay for investigative journalism? If newspapers can't afford reporters anymore, who will do the reporting? There are many possible answers to that, and Shirky essentially says let's try out as many as we can and see which ones work.

Meanwhile, is a possible alternative. It's a nonprofit devoted solely to investigative journalism. So far it seems to be doing well.

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