The state of the world is our fault
1. People like free stuff, or more precisely, things they perceive to be free.
2. News websites that set up paywalls and require you to pay for access are derided.
3. So nearly everybody relies upon ad revenue, making facebook and google, who control this for the most part, very powerful. They then squeeze already stretched finances by killing your reach unless you pay them for sponsored posts, even though you know full well everyone thinks sponsored posts are wank.
4. Nobody gets ad revenue unless you click on the article. Therefore, nothing delights a writer or editor more than people commenting who clearly haven’t read the article, because not only have you not paid, he/she/they/it can see you haven’t. Probably the only reason newspaper editors don’t wade into the comments section to call everyone a slag is because you do at least improve the reach of the article writing about how Katie Hopkins has got it bang on again, and they hope someone who is less than a slag might give it a click.
5. As a result, the news model slides towards desperately trying for a click. It slides towards more and more extreme articles, and our politics slides with it. Buzzfeed hoped to offer a two tier model, where their every popular shitey clickbait listicle things would generate enough revenue to pay journalists to do some proper news reporting. They were quite good. It didn’t generate enough money though, and so they are making lay offs.
In short, it’s our fault as a society of cheapskates. And if it’s that bad at national level, now imagine the state of your local paper’s finances…and give some thought to whether that contributes to utterly corrupt shitehawks grifting away at your local council.
If you don’t like that, and you want a better world, support your local press.
Not enough people click on our stuff and, as a result, I don’t get paid so you can have this rant for free.