When supply of “content” dwarfs demand
Bob Wells | Apr 15, 2013
The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnick said it so well recently:
The future of writing in America — or at least, the future of making a living by writing — seems in doubt as rarely before. Thanks to the Internet, the disproportion between writerly supply and demand, always tricky, has tipped: anyone can write, and everyone does, and the beginners are expected to be the last pure philanthropists, giving it all away for the naches [Yiddish: emotional gratification or pride –Ed.]. It has never been easier to be a writer; and it has never been harder to be a professional writer. The strange anatomy of the new literary manners has yet to be anatomized: the vast school of tweets feeding on the giant whales of a few big books, the literary ecology of the very big, the very small, and the sudden vertiginous whoosh; the blog that becomes a book; the writer torn to pieces by his former Internet fans, which makes one the other. … The same forces that have hampered writing as a profession have empowered reading as a pastime: everything ever written, it seems, is now easily available to be read, and everything is.
A Boulder “angle” to this story? People here, as everywhere, are showered with a seemingly limitless supply of excellent “content,” should they just bother to lift a finger toward their iPads or Kindles. The bare-bones Daily Camera seems to satisfy most people’s appetite for, and time for, local news. KGNU’s Morning Magazine, The Blue Line, Boulder Weekly and Boulder Magazine all contribute significant local coverage. Any possible business model for someone to do additional local reporting certainly eludes me. Boulder Reporter will linger on, as a place to air grudges, kudos, and maybe (at times, out of sheer perversity and force of habit) hard-news reporting.