TheBrowser.com posted an interview with ProPublica General Manager Richard Tofel about the changing business of journalism. In the “FiveBooks Interview,” Tofel shares his thoughts on books about the news business by Alex Jones, Charles Madigan, Richard Kluger, Jack Fuller and Clay Shirky and how they all relate to current news gathering trends.
Chief among the problems for newspapers is whether they’ll be able to convince online readers to pay for content. “If the metering works, The New York Times is as well positioned to make the transition as any. The bar is getting higher in terms of quality of content, which plays to the Times’ strengths,” says Tofel.
“It’s the run of average papers that are going to be in the most serious difficulties. Particularly if charging for online content turns out to be the test – and I think it likely will be. It’s already clear that readers will not pay for most content. Whether they will pay for particularly excellent content remains to be seen, but I think there is some reason to hope that they might.”