Sunday, October 04, 2009

What is happening to FT's China Confidential?

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Just before the weekend CEO John Ridding gave an interview to The Guardian, explaining why he firmly believes in paid content for good journalism.
Traditional media are firmly divided in two schools of believers in the survival of journalism, those who believe readers are willing to pay for decent content, although so much is available for free on the internet. And those - and I belong to that school - who believes that journalism still has a future, but only when it is paid for by other sources, like advertisements.
The Financial Times is partly surviving on those subscriptions - as tries the Wall Street Journal - and although I belong to the non-believers, I would most certainly not mind to be wrong. Now, what says Ridding in The Guardian?
"I fundamentally believe readers are willing to pay for quality journalism," Ridding told
"One of the worries for the industry in general is kind of a cultural expectation that news information should be free and we would challenge that because we believe quality journalism requires investment and investment requires revenues."
What struck me was that one of the paid initiatives that the Financial Times started earlier this year, China Confidential, lead by former China correspondent James Kynge. I was skeptical at the time about its chances of surviving, and hoped that John Redding would have used that initiative to support his believe in paid content with a few bits of facts.
I have not heard about China Confidential since its start, I realized. The website is still active. Any insights here?
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