A farewell to free journalism

The companies that won this rugby scrum weren’t the venerable old names with long experience marrying ads to winsome content. They weren’t even the new media companies with their frantic brigades of young staffers generating hot takes. The companies that are winning — mostly Google and Facebook — get content for free from their users, or other people on the Internet. Including us.

Providing the rope with which someone else will hang you is obviously not a very good business model. And in the words of economist Herb Stein, “If something can’t go on forever, it will stop.” Either we will find someone else to pay for the news and opinion and cartoons you consume, or we will go out of business.