The author of this article is worried that the UK’s Press Review is not going to help journalism, but enrich their owners. I don’t doubt it, and I am inclined to agree that this is the most likely outcome.
But the assumption that the decline of classified ads spelled the troubles for newspapers isn’t quite the case, though.
If the audience stayed loyal, there could have been a shift in how to generate revenue. You have something people want and need, you have the means to transfer the revenue to some other method of compensation.
The problem was audience moved away — they didn’t shift over to the online versions of these papers in many cases.
It wasn’t just the business model that fell behind the times, the journalism model was misaligned with reality. The press were used to talking at people that they failed to listen to them. They had more freedom to express themselves and find other outlets to occupy themselves.
The net effect was devastating, and while I do not doubt media moguls will squeeze a few more coins, journalism will not recover as a result.