Reflecting on Masterclasses in Rhetoric Taught in Recent Videos...

Must-Read: If any of your money is going to the New York Times or the Washington Post—let alone the Wall Street Journal or the Daily Mail—I strongly, strongly believe and urge you to spend it on Josh Marshall and TPM instead. Fund the solution, not the problem:

Josh Marshall: TPM and The Future of Digital News Publishing http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/tpm-and-the-future-of-digital-news-publishing: "The engrossment of most of the ad revenue by two big monopolies will spell the end of a lot of ad-supported websites...

...Scary, if you’re a publisher.... For a couple years I’ve been telling people I would not invest my money in any project that relied exclusively on ads and/or scale as its business model. Now, here’s the good news, at least as far as TPM is concerned.... Membership fees... 27% in 2016. My goal is for it to hit 50% in 2017. That is a very ambitious goal. But I think we can meet it. We now have just under 20,000 subscribers and we are going to shoot for having 30,000 by the end of the calendar year....

We see 2017 as an inflection point for the organization.... We’ve been working behind the scenes to hire a new team of investigative reporters.... Speaking just for myself, having the site significantly funded by subscriptions is an inherently more stable business.... But the real difference is one that I’ve only really fully understood in the last six months or more. That is, that the having the bulk of our revenue driven by subscribers makes the focus of our business activity more focused on subscribers, which is to say on readers. That makes the whole enterprise more coherent. Or perhaps it’s better to say, the things we focused on to make the editorial product better can be in many cases the same things we do to keep the company financially healthy. In practice, this will mean more focus on original and investigative reporting, more features just for subscribers and a shift in the resources we devote to our subscription program relative to advertising. Now, to be clear: the goal is 50%. That still leaves the other 50% of our revenue base. That will come from advertising. So it’s not like we’re getting out of the ad business. But our dependence on it will shift....

Over the coming weeks I’m going to be posting more both about the issue of monopoly, which is simply a policy issue I’m deeply interested in, and more details about where we see the news publishing industry evolving and how we plan to thrive within it. We’ll also be talking our annual sign up drive which kicks off next month. Of course, if all goes according to what I hope, I plan to writing about news and politics and history a lot more too. That’s what this makes possible...

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