“Premium” journalism

The crisis of distrust that gravitates over social webpages to the point of profusion of false news is a factor that makes us revalue the importance of high-quality journalism, more evident in the traditional printed ways than in other informative platforms.

This is the incentive for newspapers companies to opt for some “premium” journalism, meaning it sustains high quality, well detailed and credible content, something that also begins to affect the innovative models of a paid subscription to their digital platforms.

Since people seek for endorsed news, tested and treated with professional rigor, the most important newspapers in the world are registering more paid subscription schemes in their digital forms and at the same time in their physical formats.

For this, they resort to hybrid solutions like offering a percentage of the news for free on their online ways while reserving the rest of their most valuable or interesting content as an exclusive  curiosity-awakening content that’s only available for users who are part of the paid subscription circle. Media outlets have found this idea quite successful.

The most successful models have been those of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal’s and Washington Post’s, in the United States, and those of the most relevant newspapers in Europe, where there is a high mass of users with internet access whilst there’s another mass that still follows the strong tradition of newspapers reading.

Those develop the strategy of offering their digital readers some form of special access to a good portion of their special contents at decent prices, which could potentially result in not only a single subscription per person, but a double since these users might also end up subscribing to their printed form.

The solid core of this process is determined by the perception and confidence that the newspapers will offer them the content of their interest, without bias, vaccinated against the virus of the fake news that today flood the net, creating them a serious problem about credibility.

That is why the world’s news redactors are determined to offer filters and applications to detect, recognize and restrict the broadcasting of fake news, trying to clean the digital spaces of these polluting factors that degrade their level of trustworthiness.

I often meet readers of the Listin Diario who confess to me that they only trust the information of the printed journals because they perceive that, within the execution of professional, serious and high-ranked journalism, this is a golden rule, and it’s not so much this way for the news that get spreaded through internet pages without verifying their objectivity and accuracy.

Recently, the director of the newspaper El Mundo in Spain, Francisco Rosell, has said that business models that make journalism profitable need to be promoted as much as possible, protecting its independence, based on the payment for extra quality information model.

He recognizes that the profusion of false news has helped to revitalize the well done journalism, so the commitment on providing high quality and verifiable news will result in the success achieved today by the newspapers that offer that “premium journalism” to its readers, both in the physical and digital ways.

This is one of the keys to the survival of the printed manner of the news of a world where social communication is highly competitive and challenged by the continuous technological innovations. A fascinating challenge that we should never steer away from.

Translated from spanish by Randy Rodriguez