Historically, news organizations have sought to protect themselves from the vagaries of economics and third-party suppliers by investing considerably in both production and distribution infrastructure, says Michael Stamm, an associate professor in history and journalism at Michigan State University. Stamm is currently writing a book about the history of the Tribune Company, which in the early 20th century even built its own paper mills to protect against price fluctuations in the paper market. “Paper prices went up really dramatically during World War I,” Stamm says. “There were companies that were basically pushed out of business because they couldn’t afford to print the paper and make money doing it.” Just because digital news operations no longer need a physical plant to get started doesn’t mean they don’t need to be concerned about their distribution infrastructure, says Stamm. “In some ways,” he says, “bandwidth is now what paper used to be.”

Advertisements

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: