Saturday, June 21, 2008

'Pay-per-view' is future of online journalism, says Andrew Keen

'Pay-per-page view' is the future of journalism, Andrew Keen, journalist and Cult of the Amateur author, told an industry conference today.

The 'Gawker model', where contributors to the blog aggregator are paid in relation to the number of page views their copy generates, is 'the new reality of journalism', Keen told the Media Futures Conference.

Newspapers will inevitably adopt this model as online metrics become more sophisticated, Keen said.

Reed Business Information has discussed the merits of such a pay scheme for journalists working online, Jim Muttram, an RBI managing director, told an industry event earlier this year.

Adopting this pay structure will affect the quality of the journalism produced online, Keen said.

"I'm not criticising technology, but this so-called personalisation and accuracy of technology will lead to this," said Keen.

"When you have more and more ability to define how many people are looking at your work, you'll be paid accordingly and it'll result in you writing to be popular."

Fellow panellist Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS, responded saying that quality was not in decline.

"There's an incredible surplus of good journalism on and offline being watched, listened to and consumed more than ever before. The idea that we are heading towards some catastrophe of quality isn't true," Beckett said

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