Paying Local News Sites? –

natenews-logoOver at, Nathan Baker is asking the Nashville’s Technorati for feedback on why they don’t financially support their local news bloggers. He runs down a personal list of sites that should be paid since they fulfill the role of news gatherers. [Yes, I am on that list and he’d be at the top of mine. Since we’re both slummin’ it, we’re trading links instead.]


I’ve been immersed in Nashville’s tech scene for a year, and I already know it’s obviously vibrant, talented and welcoming. Nashville’s tech mass is big enough to be dangerous and small enough to be more efficient than larger cities. Therefore we have the unique advantage of creating the innovative tech culture we desire, faster than anyone expected. On the top of my Utopia Nashville list: We should value local online content by supporting a few blogs financially.

I’m sort of interested to hear what others have to say about supporting the people who produce the local news essentially free of charge (*ahem*nashvillest*ahem*).

4 Responses to Paying Local News Sites? –

  1. Andrew Duthie says:

    If NYTimes couldn’t get people to pay them for online content, it seems unlikely that the same model will work for individual journalists. I would expect that the model is closer to the advertising revenue-supported model we’re already familiar with.

    • tomcheredar says:

      Nah, I think this is more of a Tithe. An optional payment that helps the people who are doing the helping.

      • Andrew Duthie says:

        Well, it works only marginally for web cartoonists. They seem to have better luck selling stuff, however. I don’t think anyone would mind a self-motivated journalist asking for donations in a sidebar — but I wouldn’t expect a lot of income from it, either.

        Perhaps it’s time to adapt the old patron system that’s supported a handful of artists over the years. Lots of adapting, though — one patron and one journalist wouldn’t be enough to make big things happen.

  2. Nate Baker says:

    Tom, thanks for spotlighting the concept.

    Nashville’s tech community is in the position to do what the New York Times can’t. They are a business and need to succeed; We are a community that can experiment with what systems make our community better.

    Journalism overall improves society. It’s hard to put a value on it’s importance when everyone has a list for what is important. (Save the whales.)

    But it seems like a win-win when the worst that could happen is that you are supporting your friends.

    I’m not sure if would work, but it’s one of those things I’d love to advocate. At the very least, getting a few bloggers to give it a shot would give us the opportunity to see what happens.

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