, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
The greatest threat to a free press in the U.S. is the business model itself. And press freedom organizations, which are generally geared up for other fights, need to refocus.

a short thread...
This is the thing spurring this thread. It's staggering in scope to hear about it all at once:

"The Plain Dealer had a unionized staff of 340 journalists two decades ago. That soon will be reduced to 33."
For everything that's not Washington, trade publications or major national news, the business model is basically broken.

There are some green shoots - nonprofit/membership model among them - but local news is hemorrhaging generations of talent and what's replacing it is nothing
Adding to the problems: In many cases, local news assets have been strip-mined to fund other stuff. Papers bought for their buildings and the news assets still hollowed out to goose profit figures.

Tho short term gain devoid of long term strategy is unsustainable.
Others are trying to goose storied outlets into being partisan vehicles, which is another form of media strip-mining in a way because it spends down the credibility the outlet previously had. Once you lose a reputation, it's hard to get it back.
I've been a part of a lot of free press fights, including on domestic access, combating the "fake news" nonsense from professional partisans, and trying to get people released from jail overseas.

This though, the business model fight, is existential.
This is tough for many journalists. Reporters are taught to not get involved with the business side at all. Which is a good lesson... up to a point.

Wherever the line is, and J-school ethicists can debate that, underlying business model to me is 100% fair game.
There are many many many suggestions I have on this, but step one is to engage existing resources.

Press freedom groups largely haven't joined this fight. Most are focused on other things. That needs to change, urgently.
Praise where it's due though:

I was really proud of the @NPCInstitute for recognizing this and honoring a former Denver Post editor for speaking out when his paper was being gutted. He was awarded the NPC's highest press freedom award, b/c business model is press freedom.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Derek Wallbank
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!