Money might make the world go round, but for journalism, money clouds the future. I’ve followed the research of Iris Chyi for my thesis. She proposed that online news could be viewed as an “inferior good.”
Objectively, she’s right. Online content has less fact checking and less editing. Her theory stumbles when approached subjectively, from the eyes of a reader/viewer.
Two conflicting ideas bump against each other here, in what’s also been called the “ramen noodle theory.”
“Consumers don’t always use what they prefer, and they’re not always willing to spend money on what they use.” People prefer steak (print), but ramen’s (online) cheaper. Online wins, despite the objective reality that print is better.
Leaders? Maybe not.