What Information, News, or Awareness Will Customers Actually Pay For in 2020?

From Newspaper Death Watch: Paywalls Come Tumbling Down

Will there soon be any customers who remain willing to pay for general news? With few barriers to competition on the web, readers are able to access the precise type of news they want written for readers (almost) just like them. While some will be willing to pay (although I think “donate” is a more appropriate here) for news and independent journalism and information, relatively few would seem likely to subscribe to mass, corporate, lowest common denominator offerings from, for example, The Washington Post.

Will Matt Drudge’s 1998 prediction on the growth of citizen journalism only accelerate in coming years? My guess is yes, and there will be some (more) hard-falling casualties that change the information landscape.



Academics Fighting to the Death to be Official Gatekeeper

You can read more on the Edward Mellen Press “saga” (Disclaimer: This is how the law librarians’ blog describes the EMP litigation. Don’t Sue Me, Herb!) here.

My take on it is that we now have academics butting heads over power and control. Universities are, fundamentally, institutions that seek to maintain their role as gatekeepers and censors of information and thought. In the modern electronic world, they are losing. The result: vicious fighting amongst themselves.

The critics of Mellen seek to defend their traditional academic turf of bureaucracy, control and gatekeeping. EMP seeks control of the critics by way of silencing them. A pox on both your houses.