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Problem: Newsrooms/newspapers help investigate important issues. Currently the information is given away for free online. (the serious problems - I believe - that we have with the media will be addressed later)
Google has a program called "Adsense". Basically if you have a website you can subscribe to the Google Adsense and put a little box on your website that contains ads from Google. The ads are paid for by advertisers who pay per click i.e. each time someone clicks on a link they pay for that visitor. So Google makes money by putting these ads on its website and having other online publishers (private websites) put up their ads as well. The incentive for these other publishers putting up Google Ads on their websites is that they get a share of the profits on each click.
For example: This blog has Google ads on it. If someone clicks on a link that pays Google a dollar then I would get, say 20-30 cents. Since this is based on how many visitors visit my site and click on the links - the more visitors I get the more potential money I can make.
Here’s a possible idea that may help a little:
Now let’s look at another aspect of the newspaper situation. Google gets it’s news from newspapers and publishes it online. They put up their ads next to the news and make money. The newspapers/newsrooms don’t make money. Suppose the newsrooms all go bankrupt and Google no longer has a source of content (news stories) to publish on its websites and thus loses a source of revenue in the long run.
Google could use the Adsense model and pay a percent of profits from the ads to the newsrooms for their stories. That way the newsrooms only get money when Google makes money so Google isn’t stuck with a contract that may not make sense in the long run. Google will lose a little profit on the ads in the short run as they pay out the commission but will gain revenue in the long run as the newsrooms will have a source of revenue to continue writing news stories.
The alternative is to lose the newsrooms and not have any news stories to publish and Google News would have to be scraped.
Of course, this will probably not solve the problem and there may be more problems than I know about in getting such a revenue model into place. However, it is a possible source of revenue for newspapers that is worth looking into.
? Also, since Google is not going to publish news from every newsroom this could also create more competition as reporters seek to get the best story to be published on Google News and get more webpages of revenue. (I’m not sure how the current model works)