There are two types of media. One I’m willing to pay for. One I’m not.
The kind of media I’m NOT willing to pay for: Fluff. This includes:
- Sports News
- Entertainment News
- Product Reviews
- Press Releases
- TV Listings
There is so much information out there that I’m interested in knowing about, and the people who have that information want me to know about it. But I’m not going to pay to be marketed to.
I’m ultimately a customer of the sports and entertainment and gadget industries, and it’s in the interests of those industries that I be as informed about them as possible. This type of information is facilitated by press releases and public relations departments and marketing budgets. Getting this information to me is not journalism.
Example: I read The Road a couple weeks ago. I don’t know how I found out about the book and the movie. It just washed over me in the stream of information that I’m immersed in and I plucked out that nugget. I also paid money for the book – not used and not online, but new and from an actual brick and mortar bookstore. How quaint. But that purchase, and others like it, is all the fee I should have have to pay to have that information come to me. It’s your job, on your dime, to get information to me.
I’m not going to pay for information that marketers and public relations hacks are trying to get into my head. Ultimately I could live without it and the various industries would suffer because of my ignorance.
A “journalistic” endeavor focused on this type of information better be free to me – even though I, after a fashion, still want it. I ain’t payin.
The kind of media I AM willing to pay for: Ass Kicking.
- Investigative journalism
- Exposing corruption and hypocracy
- Telling me how I’m getting screwed over.
There’s a whole class of information that I want to know about, and the people who have that information desperately DON’T want me to know about it. This includes, but it not limited to, politicians and corporations. My assumption is that, with rare exception, they are corrupt, greedy, dishonest slime balls that want to poison me and steal my wallet.
I want to know about the cover-ups, the kickbacks, the backroom deals, the collusion, the illegal dumping, the lying and intimidation, the crimes, the drugs, the exploitation.
I want to know about the dark secrets that are not included in the marketing department’s glossy brochure.
I want to know about the creative budgeting that the government report used to fake up a result.
If you promise to focus on keeping informed with that type of information, I’ll gladly pay you for it.
I’m not really looking for ‘objectivity’ here, either. This information is not given freely. This information has to pulled from the sources like rotten teeth.
For this type of reporting, I want you to view the objects of your investigation as The Enemy. They are not the good guys. There should be no professional partnerships or revolving doors. Your targets should hate you, because you are exposing them for the lying corrupt bastards they are.
People in the echelons of power should dread reading the news every morning, for fear of having their secrets splashed across the home page of your site.
This, I would pay for.