Journalism’s Crisis and Being Creative (with Members Support)

Alberto Puliafito
4 min readJul 13, 2019
Paparazzi Dogs, sculpture by Gillie and Marc, San Francisco

There are a free speech problem and a journalism business model problem: we know it.

The first one is in some ways a new struggle we have to face.

The second one is not new at all. And even for the contemporary landscape, we have several founding essays with deep analysis of the problem. In 2014, Anderson, Bell, Shirky wrote and published a paper called Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present.

A must-quote sentence from that paper is:

«If you believe that journalism matters, and there is no solution to the crisis, the only way to get the journalism we need in the current environment is to take advantage of new possibilities».

We are in a deep crisis as journalists.
The crisis has shown no solutions in the traditional way of thinking.

Taking advantages of new possibilities means being creative. And being creative means creating something new and valuable.

That’s the reason why I’ve started thinking outside the box when I have to deal with the journalism crisis.

I know that it’s almost impossible for a mainstream newspaper switching to a new model from one day to another. I also think that new journalistic startups should be strongly different from the usual landscape we have seen for decades.

That’s the reason why I’m focusing on this flow of problems to solve.

The business model problem, together with the cultural problem, leads to a day-by-day-agenda problem. If you think that there is no alternative and if you don’t change your business model, you’ll overwhelm your audience with pieces of content.
So, the day-by-day-agenda problem leads to an overproduction problem. Quantity versus quality. You can’t be fast and overproductive and produce great journalism at the same time. And if you pollute the ecosystem, you’re also creating the perfect context for the spreading of the so-called fake news, even if you don’t want to.

This leads to an engagement problem: even if you feel that you are receiving a lot of likes or hearts or clicks, your audience is progressively less and less engaged with your content…

Alberto Puliafito

Slow News Editor-in-Chief. My nickname is Malaparte. I resist against state of emergency. Formerly Blogo. Director, SEO, communication strategist.