You wouldn’t wanna eat a sandwich from someone on the street for free, says Peter Pauls. Meaning that quality journalism cannot be gratis. Pauls, a former Africa correspondent, now in his final days as editor in chief of one of Cologne’s large daily newspapers, states that newspapers will have to find a proper financing model to further exist.
Also saying that, “we haven’t found it yet.”
Times were different when Pauls started in 1977. Back then newspapers were like a theater play, says Pauls. “Everybody was working towards the final product.” Today people prefer news. A problem for a finished and decelerated product – a newspaper is.
Back in the early days, with a climax of sellings in Germany around 1993, production of the papers were financed in one third by the selling price, the rest coming from advertisements. Today it is turned around, says Peter Pauls.
“We earn money with internet advertisements,” he states. But the paper also has to constantly adapt the market. According to Pauls, the only way to further exist.
A market that has expanded with the internet. Blogs and online-magazines are now competitors to newspapers. Or in the case of many newspapers, they are their own competitors, since they are also presenting stories online.
“The amount of sources was smaller in the early days,” Peter Pauls says. “Something that had not been printed in a newspaper had not happened…”