The Present was Written in the Past

There is a lot of stuff being written about the decline of the news business right now. Most of it is very unoriginal, repeating the same points about the same issues, and  most of it is a year late  — all of these are themselves probably signs of what is wrong with the business. I’m as guilty of anyone else of casting about, somewhat helplessly, for answers to questions that have no obvious solution. But here’s something original and valuable, from (no surprise here) the FT:

“One inescapable conclusion of our study is that our cost base is significantly out of line with the revenue available in our business today,” Mr Swartz told his staff: “It is equally inescapable that during good times our industry developed business practices that were at best inefficient.”

What is in play here is not the future of democracy, or about fixing a business model, or about coming up with new ownership schemes. It is about an industry that has been mugged by reality. 

More reality here about the non-starter that is micropayments, and here about the non-starter that is a news cartel.

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