News sites in a post-advertisement world

May 29, 2019

This post is a response to "News Websites are Dumpster Fires", which rails against the current business model of most news websites.

The problem that faces news websites is not as simple as just a business model change.

The purpose of a news website is to provide accurate, current information on topics relevant to the health and progress of society. This is an expensive endeavor. Journalism isn't easy - indeed, sometimes it can be dangerous, depending on the topic covered. It requires training, equipment, and no small amount of social savvy.

A news site can't be funded by the government without the appearance of state bias. The ad-driven model currently employed by the majority of news sites is unsustainable. How, then, can these sites be supported in a way that doesn't compromise their core mission?

This is a complicated question, and not one I have a solution for. I suspect that the future lies in content producers being funded by the public in some way. The following article may be of interest in this regard: Why isn't there a news organization truly funded by the public