These are observations, I don't claim to be smart enough to figure out all the answers.
Imagine- if I owned a sandwich shop, and gave away my sandwiches for free, why would anyone buy them from me?
If I owned a news outlet and put all my material online, tweeting key stories even before I printed or broadcast them, posting whole stories before they get printed or broadcast, why would anyone watch or read material on my main outlet when and how I want them to?
That is the kind of dilemma facing journalism today.
Almost daily we see stories of downsizing and job cuts in journalism
This is the dark downside of the digital revolution.
Copyright, once jealously guarded barely exists now, ownership of material reduced to smoke on the wind, belonging to no one.
Gone are the days when a publisher would go after an interloper for “stealing our stuff”
Instead they basically give it away, hoping some advertiser will come along and buy a piece of the swirling smoke in the internet air.
Then they wonder why they are losing money, so they amputate, they cut jobs, diversity of thought, and quality of content.
Left with a thinning product and no idea what to do about it, there is a downward spiral that produces more and more "easy news" or junk, and less and less content that sets outlets apart.
The concept of making internet users pay has been tried, and has mostly failed.
So the question is, what is the product worth?
Increasingly not enough, or not much, that’s where we are at.
It would seem to make sense that the answer should be a determination to make the product worth more, and not give it away.
There may be a relatively bright future for current events programs like the CBC’s Fifth Estate, and CTV’s W-5, where usually the program is heavily promoted and then airs before the real content material is posted online.
More of that kind of approach to content could be helpful, if publishers of material could back off the lure of trying first to be internet stars, and show people more of what they have done, and less of what they are doing.
Make more value in the product through quality of content, and don’t give it away.
But, if not---here’s a sandwich, take one, they’re free.