Thursday, May 13, 2010

The price of journalism

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Andrew Rice for a New York Times Magazine story that's now online: "Putting a Price on Words." The story focuses on what Rice calls "online journalism entrepreneurs." I was interviewed in conjunction with True/Slant, where I write the Off the Record blog. I'm not mentioned in the piece, but it's a must-read for anyone working in journalism today.
"You can’t call it a dot-com boom — there is not much capital, there are no parties with catered sushi and no one is expecting to get rich. But this generation of start-ups does share at least one trait with its 1990s predecessors: a conviction that they’re the vanguard of an unfolding revolution. One morning, as a March gale howled down Broadway, I visited the editors of the Web site True/Slant. Their loftlike office, in a vintage SoHo building, was bare, white and slightly chilly, as if designed to reflect the present ethic of austerity. With just five employees, True/Slant has built a significant audience since it started last year: about a million readers visit the site at least once a month, a number similar to the online following of The Village Voice or The Charlotte Observer. The site owes its modest but growing success to the work of more than 300 part-time contributors. It’s not so much a unified publication as a loosely connected commune of bloggers, who generate a continual stream of content with minimal editorial intervention. The company calls what it is doing 'entrepreneurial journalism' and says it’s the future of the profession."
["Putting a Price on Words"]