Clay Shirky has said it before and recently said it again, this time in response to news of Warren Buffet‘s investment in news organizations:
“(…) good local coverage isn’t enough, because ordinary citizens don’t pay for news. What we paid for, when we used to buy the paper, was a bundle of news and sports and coupons and job listings, printed together and delivered to our doorstep.
People are still happy to pay for reproduction and delivery, of course. We just pay our ISPs now. And we still care about news and sports and coupons and job listings — we just get them from different places, and, critically, money that goes to Groupon or Hot Jobs [correction] no longer subsidizes the newsroom. Ad dollars lost to competing content creators can be fought for; ad dollars that no longer subsidize content at all are never coming back. (…)”