the inevitable slow death of sailing journalism - does it matter - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 71 Old 02-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Mike

are you saying that the web is really nothing to do with it

I repsect your opinion... but would be amazed if that is true. It has taken away their advertising revenue - killed classifieds and all but killed display

as for Joe Diver,

I hear what you say, and what you describe is a wonderful thing.... but I just cannot see where the money will come from unless you are prepared to pay real money for it....

In the UK the largest magazine is Practical Boat Owner, it has a circularion of 30,000 and a cover price of 4.20.

That supports an editorial staff of five people plus a few freelancers

would you pay 20 a year for access to such a sailing related journalistic enterprise on your ipad

do you think you could find another 50,000 like minded sailors who would do the same....

I think that the idea that digits are free is pretty firmly entrtenched and growing

and the advertisers would not pay enough money for access to your eyes to offer it for freemans - especially with the use of ad blockers

Dylan


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post #12 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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I'm with Dylan, it's going to be hard to wean the reading world off of the morphine of free content. In the world of Joe Diver, who pays the journalists (staff or free lance) and editors? Why pay when I can use a search engine and be my own editor or simply let my consolidated RSS-like feed do it for me?


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post #13 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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Quote:
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Mike
are you saying that the web is really nothing to do with it

I repsect your opinion... but would be amazed if that is true. It has taken away their advertising revenue - killed classifieds and all but killed display
I agree with you Dylan that the current storm caused by web-based formats are sinking many print publications. But I think the reason this digital shift has become a destructive hurricane is largely because of the decline in the real value delivered to the readers. Subscription rates have been on the decline for decades. It's not the Web that has caused this, but I agree it is now exacerbating the challenge.

BTW, I don't see the Web as a threat to journalism -- it's just another format; another publishing medium. Good journalism, good writing, good visuals, and now good interactive formats, are just means of telling good stories. Humans are social creatures. We love good stories. We just have to find ways of tell them.
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post #14 of 71 Old 02-21-2012 Thread Starter
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web threat

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I agree with you Dylan that the current storm caused by web-based formats are sinking many print publications. But I think the reason this digital shift has become a destructive hurricane is largely because of the decline in the real value delivered to the readers. Subscription rates have been on the decline for decades. It's not the Web that has caused this, but I agree it is now exacerbating the challenge.

BTW, I don't see the Web as a threat to journalism -- it's just another format; another publishing medium. Good journalism, good writing, good visuals, and now good interactive formats, are just means of telling good stories. Humans are social creatures. We love good stories. We just have to find ways of tell them.
I think that good journalism can find a market provided it appeals to a wide enough demographic

but PBO will pay me 200 for an artical about building a Duck Punt - it will be read or skimmed by 30,000 people

but a blog that covers the sdame territory and reaches the same number of eyes might generate $20 in advertising revenue

I just cannot see the numbers ever adding up unless I get my 20 year old daughter to put on a Bikini and appear in all the pictures and illustrations

even then we might get half a million - more if we cut out the stuff about the duck punt

Dylan


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post #15 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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Sail and Yachtworld hard copy seem to be chock full of adds and a BUNCH of the big name boats are putting in LARGE adds

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post #16 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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I agree with everything you said Dylan but it's not just print media - it's all media. Kids think music, TV, the internet, everything should be digital and free. Well that's fine but who's making the music, the TV programs, and writing the articles? Artists need to be able to make a living.

Of course a lot of the free stuff on the internet only has the illusion of being free. Look how much money Google, Facebook, et al are making. It's in the billions, and they do it by selling information about you to advertisers. Many times if a website is free, you aren't the customer, you're the product.

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post #17 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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My perspective is from the point of an avid information consumer. I'm "young" by sailing standards, 35, and have grown up with technology. Here's my take on physical media and why we don't like it enough to pay for it any more.

Firstly, ease of access to information through other channels. When a new motorcycle, car, camera or sail boat etc. is released, we are able to instantly find specifications, previews, reviews and photos instantly online. You no longer have to wait for the latest magazine to show up in the post so you can oggle the eye-candy. Manufacturers make this information available and sell sell sell online because it's fast, cheap and effective - all of which result in higher profits.

Secondly, news has already happened in the past. With cell phones with video/cameras and social media, news events are reported the minute they happen. Most noteworthy events are quickly communicated many times over through multiple sources online. Again, why would we wait for a month or two to read about stuff that happened "far" in the past? We've likely already covered off the topic and moved on.

Thirdly, the quality of journalism has fallen drastically because of economic pressures. Take your pick; Writers are paid less, advertisers push agenda's, political pressure picks a view point. The result is that when you read a magazine, you often get poor quality writing that has an ulterior motive (Have you read a US motorcycle magazine? This month Suzuki is the best, next month Honda is the best, next month...) Uninfluenced review articles are a thing of the past. For news articles, many just pick up stories and reprint or reword them or spend little time researching the articles to even get their facts straight.

Finally, sensationalism stops me from buying magazines and newspapers. The depth of articles that I see routinely is about as deep as the headline. Splash the eye-catching phrase; They are expending effort to develop a controversial headline that may not even relate to the full story underneath rather than spending time delving into the subject matter.

It's thin on content which is out of date, full of advertising and costs more than other channels. So... Why buy a magazine? The model of physical media doesn't work here any longer.

The real question becomes, how do you monetise knowledge and experience? Clearly there is still a thirst for knowledge - you had youngin's spend a rainy evening listening to you - but how will you convince people to part with their money to quench that thirst?
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... but PBO will pay me 200 for an artical about building a Duck Punt - it will be read or skimmed by 30,000 people
I think this is the real problem. Why is PBO, which is owned by IPC Media, a company that produces, in their own words, "over 60 iconic media brands," paying such a paltry sum for your work? I bet this rate hasn't changed in 25 years. This is why our industry is dying.

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but a blog that covers the sdame territory and reaches the same number of eyes might generate $20 in advertising revenue
I'm frustrated about this as well. This is where I agree that we've fostered a whole generation of people who equate ease of access with right of access. I don't have any quick solution to this (if I did, I'd already be rich), but I do believe sanity is slowly returning to the marketplace. Models do exist where creators get paid, users get access, and everyone remains happy with the transaction.
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post #19 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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To address the ad-block issue:

Ad servers cause a load of different issues. They can slow down your computer by using resources, they cause pages to load slowly by us having to wait for them to serve up the ads, and not least of all, they have been known to piggy-back all sorts of nasties onto our computers.

Instead of running some scary little ****** on the web/magazine page, try running with a jpg based ad. Sure it won't be tailored to the viewer based on his history and cookie settings, but it WILL be there.

Personally, I don't really care about ads in my field of view as long as they aren't too obtrusive, and don't hog resources. Stick a hit counter on the page itself and use that to calculate ad views.
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post #20 of 71 Old 02-21-2012
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It's thin on content which is out of date, full of advertising and costs more than other channels. So... Why buy a magazine? The model of physical media doesn't work here any longer.
I think Jordan has articulated the situation well. Most publications are overtly in bed with advertisers, pay crap for their editorial content, and provide no added value when it comes understanding the story, product or situation. So why would people pay for this when they can get the same level of information "for free" via google or SailNet?

Again, not to sound too repetitive, but this is the problem. Publications, which are owned by fewer and fewer corporate masters, have been chasing short-term profits by reducing costs. The problem is, they've forgotten that readers actually do care about quality.
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