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Then, of course, there’s the question of how to get audiences to recognise the role of a diverse media in a democracy. The other side of the story is this: how to get journalists to heed and listen to audiences.
Just about everything has changed for journalism in the age of new media: it’s the era of social media and big tech companies gobbling up the advertising. And, untaxed as they are, they are laughing all the way to the bank. An offshoot of this is mainstream journalists being retrenched in droves, while newsrooms are run as 24/7 engines, with anxiety and burnout the norm. Another ‘trend’ is that no one has any winning, fixed idea on how to pay for journalism. And so experimentation continues.
In this age of declining media company profits, (okay, no profits, just fat salaries for executives), the Covid-19 pandemic entered, some media retreated and retrenched, some closed down, but then some outfits (for example Daily Maverick) did counterintuitive things, hired more staff and even launched a print edition. But even this was done not through old business models, but through another kind of experimentation or innovation: social/corporate partnerships, membership models.
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