Increasing quality won’t save journalism

17 July 2009

Written by: Christopher Scanlon

Crikey and Business Spectator publisher Eric Beecher has told a conference that the future of quality journalism has almost nothing to do with whether people are willing to pay for it.

‘The problem is, that, most quality journalism has nothing to do with whether people will pay for it because it’s funded by something else’, Mr Beecher said on Friday 17 July at the Journalism in the 21st Century: Between Globalization and National Identity conference at the University of Melbourne.

‘If journalism was like chocolate bars and people bought fewer chocolate bars, the chocolate company would either go broke or they would invent a new chocolate bar which people like, and more people would buy.

‘The problem with journalism is that it’s funded by other things. It’s funded by classified advertising, it’s funded by display advertising, [and] in the case of public broadcasting, it’s funded by governments. And so, the future of journalism has almost nothing to do with people’s demand for journalism in terms of people actually paying for it.’

Watch Eric Beecher’s talk