Reading Response #12

This week, read The Curious (and Vital) Power of Print by Margaret Sullivan, Sources of subsidy in the production of news: a list by Jay Rosen, and Time spent or time well spent — how to think about Web traffic by Rick Edmonds. Also, watch this great explainer piece by John Oliver (remember his segment on net neutrality that we watched in class?) on native advertising.

Advertising revenue used to be, by far, the dominant funding source for news. Ads are still important today, but news startups are experimenting with a variety of other funding sources. If you were starting a news organization today, how would you want it to be funded? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?


13 thoughts on “Reading Response #12

  1. if i were starting up a news organization, and my organization had a certain view point, i would use advertisements that my readers could relate to. if possible, i would use the same technology as google does to get advertisements that relate to the persons main search subjects.
    i wouldn’t want to be funded by another organization that could “mute” me or change what i want to write.


  2. If I were to start my own news organization, I would still use advertisements as a source for funding. It is a good and easier way to fun an organization, however the downfall is that if you are being funded by Ford and there is a big story about a recall you will probably be limited to what you can report on or else you will offend your advertising source and potentially lose them. Also, I would not want to be like Fox 5 who is biased on reporting for similar reasons. I think another good way to fund an organization would be to have the first few pages or paragraphs of an article accessible for free and then require a very cheap subscription fee in order to finish reading the article.


  3. I think this would be easy for me to answer just because what i would do is simple. In order to start a news organization i would strategize a plan and with that plan I would take it to someone would could help me execute it and I would try to get sponsors to get it started. I think advertisement is a huge part of our society today, but a lot of the time I think places try a little too hard.


  4. I would want my news organization to be funded by advertisements. For example let’s say my news organization was only giving you news about celebrities, materialistic shit and Hollywood, then I would have the advertisers to advertise things like makeup sets, designer bags, designer shoes, music products, electronics, ect. because most likely the viewers who are viewing my Hollywood/Materialistic news would also be into their products like makeup, electronics, ect. It’s a win/win situation because the advertisers are getting money because my viewers are buying their products and MY organization is being funded by them. The disadvantage could be the fact that even though their products are being advertised on in my news organization, that doesn’t mean people will buy their products and if their products aren’t selling then they won’t fund me anymore.


  5. If I were to start a news organization I would probably try to earn funding through a Kickstarter program. An advantage of this is that it seems to be the easiest way to get a head start and it would probably a good way to get support from friends, family, and even outside sources. A disadvantage of this is that the success of my budding organization depends on people donating to my cause, if I don’t get enough funds then I can’t launch my organization.


  6. I really enjoyed that John Oliver segment and although I agree with him that news and business should be like the separation of guacamole and twizzlers, advertisement is still such a critical part of gaining news. Despite its decline or evolution, it’s still a major revenue factor. Which is why I would use minimal advertisement for at least the beginning stages of my news startup. It’s a great way to just kick off the funding – then, as membership grows I would definitely evolve my funding sources, especially because too many advertisements can push readers away. That’s how ads can be both an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. New funding sources can be through subscriptions or sponsors!


  7. It’s kind of a scary reality to know that advertising is the most dominant funding source for news organizations, but it does make sense because companies such as Walmart, Microsoft, and other huge companies have tons of money and they want to continue making money by advertising their product off of news organizations and other organizations. Like I said, it’s a win situation for the company funding, but it can be a loss for news organizations being funded this money.

    After reading some good ideas from my classmates, if I were going to start a news organization, I would invest as much as I could into it and experiment into other types of funding instead of having to rely on solely advertisements. Many viewers, like me, hate when commercials come on anyway, so it’s a win-win situation.


  8. This whole idea of native advertising is somewhat scary especially as I have not really heard much of this before. But this idea of actual news and editorialized stories getting mixed together is very scary. It really makes you start to question what is real and what isn’t and in todays world that line seems to blur more each day.

    Unless you are providing really unique content that you know you can’t get anywhere else its rather hard to be able to make revenue off of subscriptions and so advertising becomes your next best option. If I were starting a news organization I would still have funding come via advertisements, whether they be digital or in print. Of course this can be dangerous as print circulation has been decreasing and advertisers might not want to spend their money in that area anymore. But I think that it still gets the job done.

    Another idea would be perhaps to work with marketers, not to do native advertising, but instead to find some way that advertisers perhaps can engage with the readers instead of directly advertising to them. Perhaps use newspapers and journalism mediums as a way to get a hold of target segments who would be interested in the product and somehow engage them and lead them to the products site. That way marketers aren’t sponsoring these stories and making it look like an actual news-piece but then you aren’t always just showing advertisements.


  9. In order to avert the ethical conflict of native advertising that John Oliver describes, I would want to incorporate some element of user payment, perhaps exclusively for online content. Although having readers pay is risky, as many Americans simply seek the free story elsewhere (and there are plenty of outlets), paywalls have been somewhat effective. However, I would seek to make them more effective by minimizing the fee and applying it only to local, online news content. The reason for this is that local newspapers still thrive in print.

    In a 2014 article for Aljazeera America, Diana Reese quotes the chair of a local, Missouri newspaper chain: “There’s almost a moat around local news,” explained [Mike] Jenner, with community papers often the only source of area news. No one else will cover the local school board or city council meetings or print wedding announcements and obituaries.”

    As long as print continues to be well-read locally, print advertising (not native adversing) can still offset much of the newspaper’s cost. Additional online paywalls, which would not need to be very expensive (if exist at all) would add to the revenue and likely be as successful given the niched nature of local content.


  10. If I were to start a news organization I would focus on advertising and marketing like my class mates have suggested. The articles that were assigned for reading discussed the importance of gaining an audience and thus having readers who actually visit and participate in the conversation. Having advertisements is a good way to make money in the beginning but you have to be careful that your audience doesn’t feel like there is too large of an advertisement presence on your site.


  11. If I were to start a news organization, I would still want to include advertising in my business model. It is an easy way to make revenue, which is especially important as a start up. Maybe as time went on and the organization became more successful, I would experiment with other forms of funding. However, I would also need to keep the reader in mind because they would be the reason we’re in business to begin with.


  12. If I were starting a news organization today, I first would focus on creating a solid business plan. From there I would research investors and reach out to them to present my strategy and theory. If I’m successful, they are successful. So it’s basically a win, win for everyone.


  13. John Oliver’s clip was hilarious but it brought up a good point. I remember in my tv history class that the news segments had camel involved so much, that it’s obviously odd to see for someone of my age. News everywhere really does the whole “camouflaging” of advertising to make it look like news which is an advantage to the news organization for easy funding, but no one really likes advertisements and sometimes they can be completely irrelevant to the audience. As for the NYT, they’ve got a good idea on eventually working to being fully digital but I don’t think the print would still be around in ten years as they had mentioned could be a possibility. Times are changing rapidly, and if numbers are declining now, I can’t imagine what they could do to really get the numbers back up. If I were starting a news organization today, I would just take the easy route in advertising absolutely whatever, I feel as if that’s the easiest method to the madness unless someone close funded it. I think no matter what method you choose there’s an advantage and disadvantage. At the end of the day you either can make tons of money and gain an audience or you can struggle finding and audience and making your money back.


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