Time to pay up

“Websites and email newsletters will remain the two most important tools for independent news publishing and distribution, three decades running.”

1. We will all finally accept Facebook for what it is — a nice place to share photos of family and friends and pets, a handy marketing tool, and a fragmented echo chamber that is inhospitable to public service journalism.

mark-armstrong2. The news media will get more serious about subscriptions. Financial support from readers will be even more necessary to help protect them from government intervention and from new legal threats by aggrieved billionaires with fragile egos.

3. Those who simply play the viral content game will find themselves left out of the next era — where we must get more serious about the journalism we do, and why we do it, or the world’s readers will cast us off as unnecessary and pointless.

4. Some smart person will develop a WordPress plugin for creating Twitter threads on a blog and syndicating them, one-by-one, to Twitter.

5. Newspaper businesses will continue to consolidate, but still produce outstanding work with the resources they have. Fledgling digital news sites will launch, some startups will fold, and the last ones standing will be the ones you directly support with your money. (See No. 2, above.)

6. Websites and email newsletters will remain the two most important tools for independent news publishing and distribution, three decades running.

Mark Armstrong is the founder of Longreads and editor at Automattic & WordPress.com.

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