An oral history of the epic collision between journalism and digital technology, 1980 to the present

A project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

The Riptide blog

Another Take on the “Original Sin” of Publishers

We spend a great deal of time in the Riptide interviews and essay looking at what’s been called the Original Sin of the news business. That is, when news business owners (mainly newspaper and magazine publishers) decided to give their content away without charge on the Web. Our conclusion: It didn’t really matter because a few other entities with very different business models (namely Reuters and Yahoo) did it anyway and disrupted the news business. Recently, I had a chance to re-read Dick Tofel’s marvelous essay on the same collision of the news business and digital technology, and I was reminded that he presents a somewhat different take on this question, and it’s worth reading.

(Semi-Serious Disclosure: You have to buy it for $1.99 on Amazon, because Dick’s not giving this I.P away for free! Fully-Serious Disclosure: Dick and I work together at ProPublica where I’m on the board and he’s the President.)

September 24, 2013, 10:00 am