In a killer article in the New York Times today, we get a panoramic view of all the different models being attempted by journalism pros and digital content companies. The article looks at Demand Media, The Business Insider, The Daily Beast and other bloggy online publications in an attempt to find out what’s working.
My editor at The Faster Times, an online newspaper at which I’m the Wall Street columnist, features prominently in the piece:
Last year, Sam Apple got the idea into his head that what the world needed was a new kind of newspaper. This was, to put it mildly, at odds with the consensus of the marketplace. At the time, several large media companies were in bankruptcy, others were trading at penny-stock levels and analysts were seriously asking whether some venerable publications — including this one — might soon cease to exist. The recession was only worsening a fundamental problem: the industry’s physical product, printed paper, was going the way of the rotary phone, and no one had yet figured out how to generate comparable revenues online. But Apple, a 34-year-old writer, wasn’t ready to give up on journalism as a profit-making enterprise. He began telling friends about his plans to start a Web publication called The Faster Times.
Congrats to Sam and the whole Faster Times gang. It’s pretty exciting to see new business models get a foothold in an industry that has been prematurely pronounced dead.