How to "Save" News - A Sustainable Funding Mechanism for Open News

JANUARY 21, 2017

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Open news – removing paywalls and making news freely and openly available to everyone