Nice graphical piece from one of our favourites, good.is. Apparently, a study byjournalism.org in the US has found that most of the thousands of stories that are passed around the internet via blogs and twitter each day are actually generated by “old-school media” – ie the press.
This should come as no surprise. There is a myth that the web is full of ‘free content’, that blogs and twitter can replace traditional media, which patently isn’t true. Someone pays the journalists who write these stories. That bloggers read the stories and then comment on them via blog posts, or tweeters distribute the stories by linking to them in no way replaces the origination of those stories. As they say over at Good: “We may like to share information via Twitter, but the information we share comes from the morning’s newspaper”.
There has been a lot of discussion around how to monetise online content, and with Murdoch’s empire erecting paywalls and the Guardian’s championing of free content leading to large losses for GMG, we seem to be on the cusp of working out a paradigm. Although no-one seems to have come up with a new model that isn’t advertising-funded or reader-funded.
Either way, this study seems to show that old-school media consumption is alive and well, regardless of who pays.
I’d like to see the figures from journalism.org – the proportion of stories shared that come from ‘old media’ – as the post and infographic on Good don’t furnish us with that information. But I would imagine any Twitter user or blogger instinctively feels the truth behind the claim.