Here is a a PDF of my draft chapter on “The Changing Economic Contexts of Journalism” for the 2nd edition of the ICA Handbook of Journalism Studies, edited by Karin Wahl-Jorgensen and Thomas Hanitzsch.
I’ve tried to summarize in about 30 pages the most important basic features of the business of news, its historical evolution (like the graph below), and where it is heading.
I’ve got a few weeks to finish it – suggestions welcome! (It is far too long, so suggestions of cuts especially welcome.)
I hope the chapter will provide a useful and readable introduction for both journalists and journalism studies students/scholars to key concept like the attention economy, two-sided markets, high fixed cost/low variable cost, news as a non-rivalrous experience good, market failure, media capture, and what the move to digital does and does not change.
Please note, I’ve prioritized media economics, historical background, and key current changes. Can’t cover everything in one chapter. Day-to-day developments are better covered in trade publications. And there is much, much more research out there (though too little I know of from the Global South), by economists, and by others. For those interested in critical political economy, I recommend the work of fx Robin Mansell and Janet Wasko, for those interested in ownership, the immense empirical research efforts lead by Eli Noam, Vanita Kohli-Khandekar’s work on the Indian media business has been really useful for me in other work, for those interested in advertising, the work of for example Joe Turow, and much more beyond that.