Tom Felle: Journalism is under threat unless web leeches start to pay
In the days before the internet, there was a pretty straightforward model that newspapers could rely on to pay for themselves – circulation and advertising. Readers bought a paper for far less than the cost of production, but advertising made up the difference, plus a margin for owners.
That funded the cost of producing the journalism, including the very expensive cost of investigations, and it paid for journalists' salaries.
That was the contract – readers got a great product, and they paid a little towards it. In the internet age, that model has been turned entirely on its head. Now, nobody wants to pay for anything, with the result that newspapers around the world are closing down.