To celebrate a tiny milestone in the progress of Freelance Unbound – the 100th post – here’s an item by a journalist who has gone over to the dark side and set up a site whose purpose is – gasp! – to make money from web media.
Julia Scott left a newspaper job to set up a personal finance blog, and in the process learned some hard truths about the business of journalism.
Writing about the experience on Journalism 2.0, most tellingly she says:
Independent journalists (the fancy term is news entrepreneur), must think as businessmen. My readers don’t pay me so my business side dictates they are no longer my primary focus.
This doesn’t mean she discounts her readers – without them she has no site. But it does mean accepting the commercial reality of her publishing model.
It’s a lesson that a lot of old-style journalists actively resist learning. But if there’s to be any future in digital journalism, we have to set aside our repugnance for grubby commerce.
But at least someone out there seems to be getting it.