Last month, I attended a lecture by Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism about the future of journalism. As in the linked essay, he pointed out that people are not turning away from news–that the top newspapers have more readers now than they ever did. Those readers just happen to be online.
One of the things Rosenstiel talked about was the “decoupling” of news and advertising. Why would you buy an ad to sell cars in the New York Times for a ton of money when you can advertise on a website about cars, where more of your audience will be interested in your product?
Targeted advertising is the wave of the future with ads. And news is suddenly driven by targeted searches, Google news finder, and Twitter feeds.
We’re seeing the decoupling of comic strips from news in much the same way. As the articles pointed out, comic strips are moving to the Web, to their own sites, and to different sources of funding.
Though we’d love to see a world where all artists were able to do exactly what they want for the love of it, the practical fact is that we’ve all got to eat. As the media deals with the shift to the Internet, one of the biggest questions is how to survive as an artist–or a journalist–when the Web has everyone expecting content to be free all the time.
We at Blog@ are going to bring you a bunch of stories about webcomics this month, and we hope to be able to help answer some of these questions.