Investigative journalism isn’t free, fools

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While most people have been in a zombie like haze over the past couple of days, mostly about this white guy from Denver who has a bible stuck up his butt and the arm of the 6 Million dollar man, back in the real world, where people actually pay attention to what is going in local politics (very few), we have our local news media. Of course getting any other story out of Stormland TV over the next week may be difficult. They have been busy covering the Janks. But long behold, the Argue Endorser promises us investigative reporting (when those doing the investigating are not on unpaid vacations).

Here’s the deal, folks, providing the news takes money, and Hell, if you provide enough money, you can buy the media, just ask the Build it Now folks. So while many are in a tizzy about the AL charging for internet access to their indepth stories, I say – go for it. There readership will be even less, which will lead to their demise even quicker (IMO). They haven’t figured out yet that the advertisers should be paying for their existence. You’d think they would have by the way they kiss their asses. Nope, instead, they want the public, that they should be providing a public service to, pay for it.

Okay fair enough, let’s play along.

I have had South DaCola for several years now, have made next to nothing running the site, but enjoy doing it. I received several emails this morning that it had disappeared on the internets. Why did it disappear? I had to pay the coffers, yup, believe it or not, it even costs a blogger a few bucks to maintain his madness.

So here is my plan. Unlike the AL, I won’t charge you to read my site, BUT, if you would like to donate, like many others have, go to the right hand side and throw a few bucks in the kitty. I promise not to spend it on vodka or lap dances, but I won’t make any guarantees either.

And I won’t let you buy me either, even if you send me a case of Chopin. (subtle hint)

15 comments ↓

#1 Muqhtar on 01.16.12 at 12:33 am

Why don’t we all just BRING you for a vodka and a lap dance? I sure would!

#2 Badbenboyenemy on 01.16.12 at 9:14 am

What newspapers fail to tell their readers is that they can do fine without an internet subscription model; it’s just that they want to go back to the salad days of newspapers, those days being before the internet opened up news distribution to something besides dead trees.

Newspapers used to enjoy some of the highest profit margins of any kind of industry and they want to return to those massively profitable days once again. The thing is, subscription models on the internet just aren’t going to work unless you’re going to offer something tangible, or something more desirable.

Speaking of uh, desirable, about the only kind of subscription model that has worked on the internet thus far has included ladies without their clothes on.

Perhaps the Argus is going to have to start selling pr0n if they want to make a subscription model work, or they can simply readjust their business model to the internet climate. Either way, the salad days are long gone and aren’t coming back ever again.

#3 l3wis on 01.16.12 at 9:59 am

The reason the AL started calling themselves ‘media’ a few years back is because they wanted to make it sound like they were in the digital age. Hardly. Their videos are so amateurish they should be embarrassed. If they want to start doing more of that stuff, build a real studio and get some nice digital recording equipment. I think many of their reporters are very capable of doing live video, but it always looks like shit because of the rinky-dink setup. This is why I struggle paying for this stuff.

As for profits, they could be making more, but the advertising schemes they setup are ridiculous. I got into the middle of this a few years back at a previous employer, I was there graphics guy and we had to hire like 75 people in one month. I came up with this cartoon character and kind of a cheeseball ad campaign. My boss and other managers loved it, the AL hated it. So we told them to design some ads. They looked like ads for our competitors and one of the managers told them that. I would send our cartoon ads over and tell them to print ‘as is’ and they would change them, it got to a point where I had their graphics person on the phone telling him PRINT AS IS! The cartoon dude was a hit, in fact rumor has it other companies were asking about it, and many applicants commented that they thought it was a fun place to work because of the ads. Well we folded, actually our parent company sold us, but the campaign was very successful. The Argus just doesn’t get it.

#4 l3wis on 01.16.12 at 10:02 am

BTW, thank you for the donations so far today!

#5 Badbenboyenemy on 01.16.12 at 10:45 am

Another stumbling block of the “paywall” is that the way people read, or browse the news is changing drastically as new technology emerges.

In depth reporting doesn’t mean a whole lot to as many people anymore now that they can get a juicy tidbit about Mike Huther on Twitter.

#6 l3wis on 01.16.12 at 10:50 am

“Why don’t we all just BRING you for a vodka and a lap dance?”

It has always been my dream to hold a South DaCola fest at Scarlett’s!

#7 Pathloss on 01.16.12 at 11:18 am

The new media model is yet undefined. I like coming here because Lewis brings in the topics and acts as moderator. Ideas here find their way into local circumstances. Politicians make it their unoriginal idea but at least there’s action. Given the media blackout, here is the only way left for citizens to police the politicians.

Lewis, how about a Groupon approach? Have coupon or scan here for 25% discount at eateries. Charge 25% to restauranteurs. You know most. They’d try it.

Please keep this going.

#8 Scott on 01.16.12 at 1:12 pm

The only way I’d even consider paying for online access is my sub eliminates any advertising. There’s nothing I hate more than click on a page and having an unwanted overlay or a video..or having to click my way through ads until I hit my target page. I’ll deal with it if it’s a free site (ala YouTube) but for the rates they’re charging a lack of ads should be a selling point. But we all know that won’t be the case.

#9 Scott on 01.16.12 at 1:13 pm

Also, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have an issue that’s more than 12 pages the day after such an announcement. If there really are so many “talented” reporters in that building, certainly my dollar should last me longer than 30 seconds of reading.

#10 l3wis on 01.16.12 at 7:41 pm

I’m not into selling advertising, but if someone wants to pay me to advertise here, I am all for it. I will let you set your own rate.

#11 Detroit Lewis on 01.17.12 at 12:07 am

You gotta read this Argus chat with Beck and Kueter.

http://www.argusleader.com/article/20120116/UPDATES/301160029/Replay-Chat-with-Randell-Beck-and-Maricarrol-Kueter?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

LMAO! Especially when one commenter asks about putting reporters on furlough, Beck’s response made me spit my soda out;

“Randell Beck: Well, Josh, I’m not sure what that question has to do with our new content subscription model, but I will answer it. We have used furloughs on occasion since 2009 to reduce expenses – a common step many, many businesses here and locally have taken during our challenging economic times. My commitment as publisher is to keep our business strong during lean times, and I believe that has been one tool that has contributed to that goal. I cannot think of a business that hasn’t worked hard to cut expenses.”

But I thought the bad economy hasn’t hit SF? Heck, even Huether said recently that Beck told him that they have had more job classifieds then ever, yet you put your best reporters on a furlough? I think a lot of people are scratching their heads and wondering about all these subscription increases while the ship is sinking.

#12 Poly43 on 01.17.12 at 6:33 am

My commitment as publisher is to keep our business strong during lean times, and I believe that has been one tool that has contributed to that goal. I cannot think of a business that hasn’t worked hard to cut expenses.”
~RB

I guess that explains how Gannetts latest CEO bailed out last Fall in a $37,000,000.00 parachute.

#13 Detroit Lewis on 01.17.12 at 1:34 pm

Oh, yeah, you can guarantee before that ship sinks, all the top execs will be jumping in the lifeboats.

#14 l3wis on 01.17.12 at 2:15 pm

You gotta read the BS comments by Kirby in this thread: http://www.argusleader.com/comments/article/20120117/NEWS/301170016/Power-mayor-sparks-tension

#15 Poly43 on 01.17.12 at 5:06 pm

With reference to the Kirby comment. WHERE?

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