Report says journalists ‘don’t understand their business’

A sweeping report from Columbia University says that journalists must reevaluate their relationship with advertisers. You work with reporters; do you agree?

A Columbia University report released Tuesday says journalists need to let go of the idea that working with advertisers is bad, and they must understand that they can still maintain integrity and get advertising at the same time.

The digital news economics report from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia says the simple answer that many newspapers sites are seeing as a salvation is not to simply charge readers for content or advertisers by the click.

“Here’s the problem: Journalists just don’t understand their business,” says the report, quoting Randall Rothenberg, a former New York Times media reporter who heads the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group representing publishers and marketers.

The sweeping report says many sectors of the traditional news industry have been slow to embrace changes brought on by digital technology.

“They also have been flummoxed by competitors who invest minimally in producing original content but have siphoned off some of the most profitable parts of the business,” the report says.

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