News organizations are creators of hugely important “information” for our societies. However, today they find themselves struggling in the current “info economy” which is closed, monopoly-inclined and heavily based on ad-based attention selling. In this environment there is a serious problem finding a sustainable funding model that can support news as we need it.
So far, most solutions to this problem have involved either hollowing out news by cutting back spending (“news-lite”) or have involved ineffective attempts to grab more of the attention pie (and money) from other players. Instead I want to suggest a new model: “Open News”. This combines two parts:
- Putting in place an open-compatible funding mechanism for the creators of news. This would involve a combination of collective funding with a market-oriented distribution of those funds to the creators of news. Like today, newspapers and journalists would get paid roughly based on readership and subscribers.
- Open news – removing paywalls and making news freely and openly available to everyone