The Internet taketh, and the Internet taketh away ...

More

On the one hand, the shuttering of Culture11 and the dissolution of Pajamas Media's blogger ad network are the sort of unfortunate events that you'd expect in a downturn: Startups and experimental business models always do badly in economic crunches. But given how badly things are going for the media's established business model, and the work that it sustains - and here I recommend Conor Friedersdorf, late of Culture11, on what the collapse of local newsgathering can mean for a city - I hope I'll be forgiven for seeing their fate as a particularly grim indicator of just how far we are, amid the ongoing crack-up of print journalism, from having anything capable of replacing it.

Albeit in very different (and small-scale) ways, Culture11 and Pajamas Media were trying to model the kind of low-overhead, disaggregated, bloggy form of journalism that the relative optimists - like our own Michael Hirschorn - have been predicting will eventually occupy at least some of the space being vacated by newspapers and magazines. And their models failed: One no longer exists, and the other is doubling down on "Joe the Plumber" webTV. This doesn't mean that similar publications and networks won't eventually succeed, obviously. But it's a reminder of how far away "eventually" might be, and of why people keep talking up endowments as the only plausible way of keeping certain forms of journalism going in the post-print age - because the old business model is dying without anything cropping up that seems remotely capable of taking its place. One Huffington Post, I'm afraid, does not a dynamic new-media future make ...

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In