New funding models for newspapers?

A lot of  comment has been generated by Roy Peter Clark over at Poynter with his post, Your duty to read the paper.

I’m  paraphrasing  it a bit but in general he thinks that no matter what medium we work in, as journalists, we need to buy and read newsapers. He notes:

Until we create some new business models in support of the journalism profession, we’ve got to support what we have, even as we create and perfect online versions that may one day attract the advertising dollars and other revenues we need to do what we do well.

When I added this to technorati I noted that perhaps we should simply dock a percentage of journalists pay to keep papers going. A kind of old media tax. And that got me thinking that this really is a financial model that newspapers haven’t considered.

I know that there is a kind of tacit tax in terms of pay and working conditions but lets take this seriously.

Perhaps we could try:

  1. A profession wide paper tax (say 3%) to keep newspapers going. Let’s call it a multi-national insurance contribution.
  2. A share scheme where the share certificates come in an attractive array of wall charts.
  3. Putting a free newspaper in with every CD sold at HMV.

Or, maybe, people like Roy Clark could spend a bit of time encouraging everyone to fund, support and engage with creating more engaging content and we could invest that ‘currency’ in saving newspapers.

In the meantime, any other ideas for generating money from the staff creating your product are welcome.

5 Replies to “New funding models for newspapers?”

  1. Or, heck, take the salary and bennies of someone like McCorkindale or any of the other big cats… That’s sure to help journalism by allowing staff cuts to stop and for hiring frenzies to happen, spurring innovation … oh wait, what am I thinking. Yeah, it’s better for already low paid employees to prop up the system.

    Someone needs to do an updated article on how much the big media big wigs make per year with bonuses and benefits and all the shiny rings they get.

    -kpaul

  2. Some UK newspapers have actually tried making staff buy the copies of the newspaper (at a reduction of course) to try to keep sales figures up rather than make money. It went down like a lead balloon – why should you pay for a tool you need for your job?

    kpaul, look at the UK’s Sly Bailey if you want to see big wigs in action

  3. I own a newspaper that is a totally positive, totally county-wide newspaper in the beginning of its 4th year of operation. Four people working. Never less than 28 pages. Thriving like crazy today. Why? Newspapers that offer positive news, and focus on local people are thriving. Why? Creativity of owners, defining specials and editions that cause the advertiser to want to advertise. Taking spec ads to prospective advertisers that encourage advertiser involvement. Final word is that whatever is published about local people — that they can’t read anywhere else — is important to residents, sells big, and is popular.

  4. good contributions! I am a journalist in Cameroon , Africa. Here many publishers exploit reporters. Here too, funding for newspapers is very difficult to get at beginning of the project. Hence further ideas on financial sponsor of papers will help greatly.
    Thanks.

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