The News Industry's Dunkirk

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

The Guardian’s published a superbly-written piece by Simon Jenkins today, that catches exactly what I think about paywalls, the state of the publishing business and our route out of this quagmire:

> At present the newspaper industry is like the British army retreating on Dunkirk. As before Wapping, it asks only how many boats might there be for survivors, two titles or perhaps three? Erecting paywalls may delay the retreat, but I sense that as long as online news media are selling just information and comment, they will be vulnerable to Bailey’s web attrition. > > The key must be to learn the lesson of the most tightly competitive medium of all: popular music. It has cast off its enslavement to recording studios and recast itself, almost in Victorian mode, as a mass movement for live audiences. Music online is all but free. Live costs a fortune. Young people will pay more for a gig in a club than for a Led Zeppelin CD.

The comments, sadly, are of the normal Comment is Free low standard, but the article is well worth a few minutes of your evening.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.