The Digital Journalist :: why good content costs

For the last few years, one of my favourite websites has been the Digital Journalist. It’s led the way in showing what can be done on-line in terms of visual digital story-telling, and is always something I look forward to seeing.

This morning I had an email through from Dirck Halstead, the publisher, announcing the possible closure of the site, due to the withdrawal of support from long-term sponsor Canon, due to their own financial cut-backs.

If you are able to, visit the website, and if you feel it offers something unique and valuable, donate to the cost of running it, here.

The future of real, useful, independent content on the web is not free – there is no business model that offers long-term sustainability where professionals are not paid, and the rise of the enthusiastic amateur is no substitute – for quality we will have to pay, as we always have done in the past. This is not a ‘bad thing’ – it just reflects the reality of life – that we all have to make a living, even if the way we do that is changing. If there are things we value – music, film, software that actually works, reliable news, websites with content that is truly useful – we have to find ways of paying for that, or it’ll disappear and be replaced by corporate-owned content, which will in the end undermine our trust in all information, or by those who can afford to do it for nothing, who may or may not be the most reliable of witnesses.

So, today, if you’re interested in part of the future of storytelling and journalism by visual professionals, this is the link for the donation page again.