Every day there seems to be another news story about a Facebook data breach–to the point it’s confusing if it’s actually a new breach or the one we already heard about. Mark Zuckerberg admits he wants the government to regulate them now because he realizes they can’t do it. They’ve allowed so much fake news to pollute their newsfeed, it has become a Superfund site. By the time the regulators do step in, Facebook will be irrelevant and a husk of it’s former iteration, and the local journalism landscape itself will have been decimated.
In our local area, WHRO is starting a news department because of a “crises in local journalism”. We have fewer reporters doing more work for less revenue. The price of free journalism is a far greater likelihood it’s fake news. We need to accept that and figure out the model that will support and sustain this critical component of our democracy. I can’t afford to support every news outlet I would like to. Personally, I subscribe to The Washington Post, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. I also like the “pay what you can” model of The Guardian. The Guardian does not have a pay wall, but they get their message across that their work is important, and please contribute what you can. What news site are you reporting? What model do you think will survive longterm? Pay versus free also applies to blogs, which is why I’m now on WordPress vs. Blogger (Google). Next post..