The urgent need for funding public media | Fixing the problem with paywalls | The complicated ethics of photojournalism

The urgent need for funding public media: American public media is grossly underfunded, write Victor Pickard and Timothy Neff in CJR. As trust in mainstream media has reached an all-time low, trust in public media has remained relatively high. To combat growing news deserts and provide valuable information nationwide, the United States needs to pour far more money into public media, they argue. A public media safety net is urgently needed right now to re-strengthen democratic institutions, say the authors. 

Fixing the problems with paywalls: The current revenue methods for digital newspapers are untenable, writes Mark Stenberg in his blog Medialyte. Stenberg suggests a newsstand-style pricing model that he calls “monthly access payments,” or MAPs, which would allow readers to pay a single time for one month of unlimited access to the publication. It’s a commitment-free subscription model that would allow readers to read a wider range of papers and information without having to keep up with subscriptions every month. The fixed rate of the monthly payments would, like a loose copy of a newspaper at a newsstand, be priced slightly higher than the monthly subscription rate, but would come with less commitment. This method would unlock another stream of revenue, and advertising and subscription fees would also still be funding the newsrooms. The concept of a MAP is still in the process of being developed, but it’s a promising option for the future of digital paper revenue, he argues. 

The complicated ethics of photojournalism: Careless photojournalism has dangerous implications for the individuals who are being photographed, writes Taraneh Azar in Poynter. While photojournalists are trying to use pictures to give context to protests, they may be turning people unwittingly into public figures. There is an ongoing debate between implied versus informed consent when it comes to photographing peoples’ faces, but there are no clear ethical answers. The best approach to photographing people at protests would be to look at the task at hand with informed perspectives, she writes. Journalists should have the goal of telling the most accurate story possible while still being conscious of choosing between harm and justice, says Azar.

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