For a reasonable amount of time I would check all of the news websites on a daily basis. These include The Guardian, the Independent, BBC news and french news sources. In so doing I was kept up to date with current affairs. Certain websites, such as the NYtimes and Le Temps were hidden behind paywalls so there was not much to see from such sites. At the time I went directly to the websites, without following hyperlinks. I saw the adverts and publishers got their revenue direct from my personal visit to their website.
Many newspapers, broadcasters and other media outlets are currently fighting to remain relevant. They are restructuring, they are dumbing down their content and they are reducing staff numbers.
The announcement comes after a difficult year for the newspaper industry as huge digital firms such as Google and Facebook take the lionâ€™s share of advertising budgets while the growth of mobile proves harder to monetise than print for news organisations.
As an avid consumer of news content through news websites, podcasts, documentaries, radio and books I see the shift away from newspapers not as a result of Google and Facebook but rather as a result of poor editorial integrity. When I go to a news source I want facts to be presented in a serious and informational manner. I want article headlines to tell me what the article is about without being told how I should feel about it. The Guardian has a news website that I visited every single day for years. The same is the same of the Independent, the BBC and other news sources. I read articles and I compared the stance to form an opinion on current affairs.
When newspapers shifted towards the clickbait model I stopped visiting their websites. They told me that I’d be amazed, that my life would change forever and more. That might work for a younger more impressionable audience but for readers like me it feels condescending. The experience is unpleasant.
Experience has taught me not to click on those headlines because they fail to provide me with new information. They should not assumeÂ that we can’t take five seconds to go to a reference website for context. We buy books to understand the context of current affairs and it is easy to visit wikipedia when we need to refresh our memory.
Many news organizations, facing competition from digital outlets, have sharply reduced the size of their newsrooms and their investment in news gathering.
But The New York Times has not.
We have our subscribers to thank for that.
News gathering and newsrooms are the origin of a newspaper’s value.Â The more professional editorials are, the more they respect their audience, the more of an audience they will have. We are on facebook, Google+, Twitter and Linkedin. We live across multiple tabs and websites. When editorial teams respect us we return the favour. We become or remain loyal. When we see value we commit to become subscribers. We invest in news outlets when they show that they provide us with worthwhile information.