The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Supermodel Kate Upton poses at the launch party of the Sports Illustrated Supermodel Kate Upton poses at the launch party of the Sports Illustrated's 2013 Swimsuit issue, which features her on the cover, in New York February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SPORT) - RTR3DPH4  

The two (flawed) models for monetizing online journalism

Regarding the challenges facing modern journalism (which all hinge on the ability to create a workable business model), Ben Shapiro nails it here:

“When it comes to internet journalistic outlets, two competing models have arisen: the advertising/payola model, in which clients pay for stories, and the entertainment model, in which journalism is a loss-leader while entertainment is the big moneymaker. Both of these possibilities, as Politico, Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed have learned this week, undercut their central aspiration to serious journalism, even if they bring in big traffic and big cash.”

(So which rubric do I fit in? If you clicked on this because of the photo, you have your answer.)

Shapiro frames this as part of an indictment on the mainstream media, but this is a challenge that, sooner or later, everyone in the new media space will have to confront. How can 21st century outlets do serious reporting that is simultaneously profitable and journalistically ethical?

It’s a lot harder than anyone cares to admit.