I’m one of the speakers at the “Future Of Journalism” conference here in Brisbane tomorrow, which is kind of amusing as I’m the furthest thing you can get to a journalist. I’m a panelist on a session called “Who is going to pay for journalism?” and my answer is going to be “frakked if I know”.

As I’ve been saying for five years now, this isn’t about blogging versus journalism. This is about the economic model that old media companies prospered under for the last century being defunct. And it doesn’t matter how much bitching or whining journalists do about it, the fact is, the party is OVER.

Now that doesn’t mean we all don’t want great investigative journalism. As a society, we need it. I just don’t know who is going to pay for it. Of course we all know now that privatized investigative journalism is flawed, as is state-controlled journalism, but they are better than nothing.

As I said on Bronwen’s blog the other day, I don’t remember seeing many Australian journalists going out on strike over the last 20 years as the quality of journalism in this country reached ever-deeper lows. I don’t remember reading too many stories in the AGE or SMH about how tabloidy our news was becoming, either. They just shut up, stuck their heads in the sand, and took the money. They fiddled while Rome burned around them. It’s too late to cry foul now kids.

Meanwhile the Newspaper Association of America just reported that total newspaper advertising revenues fell by $3 billion in the first six months of this year to $18.8 billion, the lowest level in a dozen years.
(Thanks Bron for the link).