My contribution to the annual Nieman Lab predictions roundup focused on the what the expansion of reader revenue models means (and doesn’t) for local news outlets:
“As 2019 approaches, anxiety about the future of the local press continues unabated. In most conversations about the fate of metro and local news media, the platforms’ near-total takeover of digital advertising comes in for the largest share of the blame. The recent push towards subscription and donation revenues at news organizations has given new hope to many local and niche news producers.
But will subscriptions alone be enough to save local news? I suspect they won’t.
One of the big reasons people subscribe to media is to participate in the conversation that others are having. Newspapers of yore tapped into FOMO well before we had such a handy name for it. Most people don’t consume news because they want to be more informed about the news; they want to be informed about the news that they’re likely to talk about.”
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