Let’s tip you about the future of your favourite online news websites

So we were reading one of our favourite news sites earlier and this is what we found right at the bottom of the article:

the-guardian-ukThis has got us asking: What exactly is happening here? What hope remains for internet ads funded sites if the Guardian is complaining about revenues? Now we are crowd funding to keep news sites running?

But here’s our theory: the media landscape is changing. Companies are continuously finding alternative means of advertising as opposed to shedding huge sums off their budgets on advert placements on websites. Internet ads that may still or may no longer be serving their purpose.

Take The New York Times for example. As an unregistered user, you only get 10 articles free a month. NYT wants you to subscribe …monthly or yearly. And the push for paid subscription is real. There’s hardly a time you go on nytimes.com that you won’t find a new ‘great deal’ for any one of their subscription deals. Double the deals if you’re a registered user.

What does all of this mean? Especially in Nigeria. Especially for the advancement of proper reportage and in-depth-all-of-your-heart-in-it journalism -the dying type. It means hope, we hope.

Right now in Nigeria, you’d be hard-pressed to find a news site or blog not powered by advertising revenue. This has led to an incredulous scramble for ‘views’ which in turn has often led many sites to lose focus even where the plan was to do real journalism. Sensationalism is the new media order. The more sensational or controversial, the better. God forbid that a site that is serious about getting as many clicks or views as possible will not tweak a headline just a little to catch people’s attention. Extra points if it promises ‘juicy details’ inside the story.

It’s not that this is all bad. No, far from it. It has just brought us to a point where there are very few sites that can be trusted to truly deliver facts alongside insights. Not just in Nigeria but the world over.

Think of your favourite sites to go to for real, unadulterated news, analyses, and reportage and we can tell you for sure that they have all shifted from the ad-based funding to something a lot more like what The Guardian UK is asking for here – The New York Times, The Economist, Vox, name it.

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