Lazarous - comment response
I am posting a comment to Brian B's on my Lazarus post, but for some reason it refuses to appear on my machine, no matter what browser I use (though if you click to post a comment, it does come up on that screen). I did not want anyone to think I was ignoriing his good thoughts, so here is my response in case you can't see it in the comments section:
This seems like a false equivalence. As you note, good TV and film are scarcer than good journalism; that applies in absolute numbers as well as volume. I watch maybe 3 TV shows and 1-2 movies (including DVDs) a week, tops, but I read more newspaper stories than that every day. The effect of journalism is more cumulative than episodic.
I think you actually bolster my point here. Unlike an individual book, musical work, movie, etc., The intrinsic value of most pieces of individual work is generally so small that that trying to extract its economic value is almost pointless. This is the point of a newspaper -- it aggregates these small pieces and puts them in an ad and access-controlled wrapper to give them enough value that consumers are willing to pay for them. Here's the evidence for that: Some papers significantly boosted their single-issue price for this year's Thanksgiving issue. Was it because there was more valuable news? No. As one publisher said, it was because there were more ads, and (paraphrasing), that meant more value for the readers!. As for good journalism being more abundant, well, I'd actually dispute that assertion.
If newspapers put up the pay wall, they'll also go after the folks who are essentially pirating their content for their own sites.
And they should. But that's not what I would do. I would write a narrative every day summarizing what is out there and adding context -- and probably amalgamating it with other source, such as TV and radio where available. I'm no lawyer, so take what I saw with that caution, but I have dealt with these issues during my career and have studied the issues with some depth during the past few years and feel pretty certain this would prevail.And, given my assertionm that might be all most people would need. (And I would link, too. But I'm betting that a significant number of readers would find all they needed in the alternative.)
As for gazebo vs. well, pick your metaphor. I'm committed to making it work now, but also finding a way to make it work in the future. Lazarus and his ilk mouth the idea of the future, but largely want to freeze things indefinitely, as near as I can tell.