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Frosted Flakes: Our Changing News Landscape

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Photo via The Imagine Project

We really are living in rapidly changing times. Technology has given us the ability to move information and a faster pace than we have ever imagined. It has also allowed us to inform just about everyone across the globe that has the ability to get online.

But all of this cost money. Information is for everyone but it can’t always be free. Someone has to make a living and pay the bills. The model of news institutions giving away information for free is not sustainable. At some point someone will have to start paying. I think that time is coming sooner than later.

Years ago it became the norm to get free information online and be perfectly content with that. News outlets still had their print subscribers and I think very few believed that they would go away. We have seen from the past decade or so that this has been proven wrong. More and more news organizations are getting deeper in the red. Their bottom lines are no longer keeping the companies afloat.

You are starting to see it more and more with outlets across the country. For sports you have sites like The Athletic that have started up with the idea that if they get the top writers from across the country to write about national and local sports that people will start paying a premium for their product.

They might be on to something as they just had $20 million in third round funding for the organization to expand into new cities and bring on new writers. You don’t normally do that and do not secure that much money if your model if floundering. People are paying for quality information.

Even our Omaha World Herald has made it impossible to read many of their articles without a subscription. Gone are the days where you just needed to scrub your browsers history and cookies or read in Google’s incognito mode to view an article. You now need a subscription.

I bring this up because I had three really informative and well written articles for flakes this morning and I had to jettison them because of their respective paywalls. It stinks but I can’t disagree with these companies do this. Again, someone has to pay the bills and if the money isn’t there to support these news outlets then they will cease to exist and we will end up having very limited options for our news.

If you want quality you are going to have to pay. Regardless of your views on our society and how capitalism works this is the model we have. If anything, it breeds competition and creativity. We as consumers just have to get used to it.

Anyway, on to flakes...


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