One of the last meetups I attended in Silicon Valley was by Tom Foremski, former columnist of The Financial Times, at the Jewish High Tech Community. He left his job as a paid journalist to start a new blog and he’s being doing well for a while. Not any more, as the advertising industry’s crisis is also hitting him.
So why does he keep writing if getting revenues is getting tough, both for tradional and for new media? “I have a passion for what I am doing”, he answered. I admire people that fight so hard for what they love, but I am starting to get really worried about journalists. It’s always been one of the worst paid professions and it’s getting even worse.
My answer was that I also have a passion for gardening, but that I do not expect that to bring me money. I actually share with him a passion for good journalism, the investigative one. I blog about current events in the Basque Country, the region in which I was born, but don’t expect to make much money out of that. It’s mainly a hobby. And a very rewarding one, in fact, as I get to meet many people I would not get to know otherwise.
The conversation (it was not really a conference) turnt later to the future of the media companies. Nobody is optimistic about them. He did not believe people would pay for news, as The FT’s managing editor expects. “The media is not dead. The business model is dead”, he said. Nevertheless, he was not sure what this new business model is going to look like. It could be about digital goods, he seemed to believe. Maybe it’s about organizing conferences, as TechCrunch is doing.