From the Couch of Ben Johnson

Father, Principal Engineer at Prodigy Education, serial hyperbolist.

Subscription Publishing

As much as we’re all going to need to watch our subscription counts, I’m looking forward to the world of subscription publishing Ev describes here.

Anything that increases the quality of journalism is something to be excited about. The resurgence of the Washington Post after Bezos’ purchase is, I think, evidence for the power of what stable revenue can do for publishing. Technology isn’t a good replacement for a lot of talented and motivated reporters.

That said, I don’t think it’s likely that this does much to address media polarization. Maybe with better journalism we get more of the rational middle, but if I had to bet I’d put money on these content bundles and subscriptions coalescing around political extremes.

This also doesn’t do much to prevent the death of local news. Though, maybe at scale that is a problem technology can solve.