Media Woes Lead to Start-Up Experiments: New journalism ventures are cropping up, but where's the business model?
Of all the industries devastated by the recession, the media has been one of the most notoriously affected. According to the
But this industry shakeup could be good news for media entrepreneurs. "Recessions wipe out the old systems and accelerate the new ones," says
The Internet is an obvious place to fill the information void left by the shrinkage of media jobs. Employment at Internet media companies actually grew last year by 7 percent. Examples of recently created or expanded online-only media companies include the ones that produce the
Sandford's blog, which he launched in 2005 when he was a local newspaper reporter, has mostly been a success. He says the blog started out as an outlet for his personal photography and writing. "I always paid attention to the local news and would mention things here and there. More and more people asked me to take notice of events," he says. These days, he's writing about everything from
Despite the increase in traffic, Sandford says he is not able to make blogging his sole career. The only income he gets from the blog is through GoogleAds, and that amounts to only a few hundred dollars every three or four months. Sandford is hopeful he can find a business model that works. He plans to experiment with different ways to make money, such as merchandising or partnering with local businesses. Another strategy is based on the strength of numbers--joining up with other bloggers to share revenue. But the "loose confederation" of
There are blog networks that have found some success through a collaborative business model.
Carr's site represents another growing breed of media start-ups. Like sites that target a geographical community, these cover narrow areas of interest that the national or local media have difficulty addressing well. Carr says the specialized nature of her sites makes for a good pitch to advertisers. "When you look at niche blogs, companies will think, 'Yes, there are only 5,000 impressions, but those 5,000 care,' as opposed to newspapers where many people don't care or even see the ad," she says. She also tries to attract advertisers through the collaborative nature of her site. Most of Carr's writers have their own blogs that they can use to further plug an advertiser's product or service. Whether niche blogs will see the big ad dollars or not remains to be seen. "The site itself does not make a lot of money," Carr admits. Her bigger source of income comes from leveraging the site to shore up her personal brand: She speaks at conferences and other events about motherhood issues, and the blog raises her visibility and credibility.
Carr points to two big reasons the ad dollars are not quite there: Broader economic problems have cut into ad revenue, and, despite the exploding popularity of blogs throughout this decade, "in the mainstream, a lot of people still aren't even sure what a blog is," she says. Carr feels that many potential advertisers have not shaken the stigma that blogs are not as worthy of attention as traditional media. She tries to reverse this perception with her blog InvestigativeMommyBlogger.com, which is dedicated to investigative journalism. She uses a network of online reporters who work together on consumer stories such as the dangers shopping carts can pose to children. "Instead of one reporter spending months on something, there were dozens doing the little pieces and me overseeing it," she says.
Even when the economy rebounds and as this new media gains respectability, finding advertisers is likely to remain difficult for small operations. Carr is looking to hire someone to handle her ad sales full-time. Because it's a big and important job for many bloggers, she wonders why more people haven't recognized the money-making potential. "Someone could step up and offer the services of selling ads to bloggers. I can't believe more people haven't done it, but I think we will see them popping up," she says.
Beginning of a New World Epoch
Paul A. Samuelson
President Barack Obama's 2008 electoral landslide victory averted a global financial meltdown. Had Republican Sen. John McCain won that election, present U.S. GDP would have been even lower than it is now, by more than 15 percent! And similar losses in global productivity would also have taken place.
October Jobs Report: A True Witches' Brew
In what will no doubt boost skepticism over the Obama administration's message of stimulus success, the unemployment rate in October rocketed to 10.2 percent, a figure much higher than economists had expected and just 0.6 percentage points away from the post-World War II high seen in 1982. While unemployment snapped back down swiftly in the early-1980s recession, it is widely expected that job creation will be slow in this recovery.
Economy: Cities Where Jobs Recovery Will Be Slowest
While the nation's job market is awful overall -- thousands of Americans are exhausting their unemployment benefits daily -- it's clear that the true jobs picture is as varied as the nation's topography. With the promise of a recovery on the horizon, new data show that the employment upturn will be regional as well
Forget Inflation, Deflation Is a Bigger Danger
Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Inflation typically results from 'too much money chasing too few goods.' Today, too much supply is chasing too little demand. That, coupled with consumers' need to save money to rebuild their finances, raises the risk of deflation, not inflation. And as workers compete for scarce jobs and companies underbid one another for sales, both wages and prices will remain under pressure.
When it comes to foreclosure, the problem isn't just the 7.2 million jobs that have been lost during this great recession. There are millions of Americans who took a huge pay cut to keep their companies going. Unpaid furloughs and 10 to 25 percent pay cuts mean tens of millions of Americans are having a much harder time paying their bills -- and their mortgages are at risk as well.
Latin American Economy Will Do Well, but Not Great
Latin American Current Events, News & Affairs - Andres Oppenheimer
The news that Brazil and Mexico have come out of the recession and are poised for solid growth in 2010 should be celebrated, and both countries' leaders should be given credit for their sound economic management. But in the global economic context, the two Latin American giants' recovery will be modest.
The Dollar and the Deficits
C. Fred Bergsten
The dollar is under attack on two fronts. Private investors are driving it lower in the foreign exchange markets. Monetary authorities are questioning its role as the world's key currency. There is an obvious linkage between the two attacks: expectations of further falls in the dollar's value will accelerate the prospect that foreign central banks will switch to euros
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