Quality — the sacrificial lamb of 21st century publishing
In the glory days of print, high-quality journalism was affordable. But when the web became ubiquitous and digital cents started replacing print ad dollars, publishers started cutting back journalists and the number (and choice) of words those left could produce — sacrificing quality for the so-called “greater good” of saving the industry. But instead of saving publishing, that move opened the door to private equity funds, hedge funds, and other new investment interests that quickly started buying up papers, with the primary intent being to squeeze out as much cash as possible. The results have not been pretty.
Getting people to pay for quality news is hard enough; no one will pay for a paper with half the content it once had, especially when the half left after a cash grab is not worth the paper it’s printed on.