The search for a new model: a quest to find ways to pay for journalism and save the industry

So, what’s wrong with the news industry?

If you said something akin to “bias” or “quality,” then you need to grow up. The one and only answer to that question right now is “revenue.” Because, to paraphrase the great philosopher Tyler Durden, if we don’t take care of revenue,  we are just polishing the brass on the Titanic — this ship’s going down.

For all of you who are on the same page as me, then stay tuned. For the next few months, I am going to discuss what went wrong with the news industry’s revenue streams, and begin to propose some ways we can fix this and move forward.

I have no interest in sitting on the sideline while the news industry chooses between Buzzfeed drivel and Fox News partisanship. I want to continue to work as a professional journalist, producing high-quality news for an engaged audience.

There is an answer, but it isn’t a silver bullet. Finding revenue to support professional journalism is going to take hard work. It is going to take creativity. And it is going to mean we make some hard choices. But it does not mean we lose our ethical soul in the process.

I have some ideas. There are ways we can continue to make money. The news industry just needs a new business model, and I hope we can discuss that over the next few months. Stay tuned and share what you have learned. Call me on my BS. And let’s fix news together.

You can reach Michael Giusti at

About mdgiusti

Michael Giusti is a journalist and educator. He is the Adviser and Chief Administrative Officer for the Loyola Student Media, which publishes the nationally award-winning Maroon newspaper. He has 20 years experience as a professional journalist and has worked in daily newsrooms, weekly business journals and as a freelancer for national and international publications. He holds an MBA and is passionate about media business models.
This entry was posted in Media Business Models, The future of news and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The search for a new model: a quest to find ways to pay for journalism and save the industry

  1. Thad says:

    Mike: Just FYI, your comment notification system doesn’t seem to be working. [And a side note that has no meaning: Pascal’s Wager has nothing to do with faith. It’s all about self-interest. Different things :)]

    I do believe in the future, though. But I have no idea how we get there. And not quite sure what the historical model is. Early auto industry? Radio? Oil? Movies?

    Can’t wait to continue these discussions in person again, though.

  2. Thad says:

    Good luck.

    Maybe the Buzzfeed buzz will produce a consumer backlash about obvious click bait. It’s annoying that glorified copy-and-paste has become the hot thing with the cool kids on the web–that glorified copy-and-paste snark artists have the balls and sense of entitlement to criticize real journalists for somehow doing journalism wrong.

    I am still not persuaded that most citizens want high-level journalism,or that in any time in our 200-year+ history most citizens have longed for such a thing. I am not persuaded that serious public affairs journalism makes as much of a splash as its practitioners would hope*. But I am prepared to be proven wrong. I hope to be proven wrong.

    *though myth making, of both the dishonest and honest forms, still holds its usual sway.

    • mdgiusti says:

      Thad, I certainly hope that there is a future for substantive journalism and the public does buck the click-bait model. But more to the point, I hope that the public doesn’t see click bait as a substitution for originally reported, thoughtful writing.

      But I do take your point that the public likely never sought out the civic journalism as much as the reporters who created it hoped they would.

      I am just coming from a kind of journalist’s version of Pascal’s Wager: I am betting that there is a future for real journalism, if only we can rebuild our revenue model.

      If I am right, then there is a future in the industry that I believe in, doing the meaningful journalism that I love.

      If, on the other hand, that future doesn’t exist, then for me at least, it just doesn’t matter, because I refuse to take the path of partisanship or click bait.

      So, here’s to faith.

  3. markpoepsel says:

    Hey, there we go!

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