What Pajamas Media Should Be Doing

Tim Worstall offers his thoughts in an extensive essay. Most notable, in my view, is this:

We also have a dead tree newspaper business almost on its knees and desperate to reduce costs. It̢۪s still huge, has billions of dollars floating round the system but they̢۪re all cutting staff left right and centre.

So, still trying to be dispassionate, we have large amounts of good quality stuff being produced and a large industry which would like access to that material. (This is, of course, as long as both sides can indeed be dispassionate.) It needs to be organised in some way, filtered, there needs to be a standard set of terms and so on, an accounting system, but we do appear to have willing buyers and willing sellers who need a helping hand in the form of an intermediary.

And that, to my mind, is what Pajamas Media should be, that intermediary. So much of the US newspaper business already works on syndication, from the OpEd pieces to the AP newswires reports, that we wouldn̢۪t be asking people to try and absorb an entirely new idea. Just a new source of their lifeblood, cheap words that they can print tomorrow.

The competitors are not the mainstream media itself, that̢۪s just a distribution channel. An internet portal is fine, futures on the value of ad space are possibly interesting, but the real model is Associated Press, the NY Times syndication service, Creators, UPI. Bloggers already create, every day, a volume of material that completely swamps the combined output of all of those together. Some of it is even worth reprinting for a wider audience.

Sounds about right to me.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. bryan says:

    We also have a dead tree newspaper business almost on its knees and desperate to reduce costs. It’s still huge, has billions of dollars floating round the system but they’re all cutting staff left right and centre.

    Well, “on its knees” may be a far stretch. Ad revenues are up this year, as are online sales. What is driving the cost-reduction frenzy is not the state of the industry, but stockholders in publicly traded companies who demand high return on their investment.

    Besides, I can’t say that I’d WANT PJM as an intermediary, given the way they’ve been run so far. This is no different than any other syndicate.