The future of journalism

The future of journalism

~ From DW.DE ~
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Mathias Döpfner, CEO of media publishing house Axel Springer SE and U.S. Internet expert Jeff Jarvis locked horns in the first main debate at the DW Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany. Döpfner says that people pay for seemingly free online services with their freedom, while Jarvis says he’s glad "that Google knows where I live." The "Media summit" on the first day of conference focused on the future of journalism and the role of international broadcasters. Also participating in the debate were Salah Negm, Director of News at Al Jazeera’s English channel, Jawhar Sircar, CEO of Indian public broadcaster Prasar Bharati and Peter Limbourg, Director General of Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. Jarvis accused Döpfner of calling for state funding to save the faltering business model of paid journalism, rather than concentrating on developing new ideas. In response, Döpfner said his publishing company had already changed radically, and that digital content generates two-thirds of the business' profits. He said that Axel Springer SE wants to become a leading digital publisher. Speaking to an international audience that included many journalists, Jarvis pointed out that "It’s far too soon to know what the Internet is and that we should define it in analog of our ways in the past." In a keynote speech just prior to the panel discussion, Döpfner predicted that "a culture of paying for digital journalism will take root over the next few years. Content that is less valuable will continue to be free, content that is particularly relevant, exclusive or entertaining will be paid for." He also said it was a misperception that people can access online content for free. "The services which are perceived to be free of charge have a much higher price than money. Those who pay with their behavior, pay in the end with their freedom."

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