Sunday, September 24, 2023

Is online news actually free?

A highly educated gentleman told me recently that he would never become a member of our new media company because “reading news on the Internet is free.”

Do you believe that reading information on media sites that do not charge for access is free?

In my opinion, such sites come with great cost.

First, there is the cost of contending with advertising popping up all over your screen. Some folks do not mind having their reading experience interrupted by advertising. Many have simply never tried the alternative to wading through foot-fungus ads and auto-play videos as they navigate the daily news.

More important, you are usually being fed information that is intended to generate readership rather than educate or reveal truth. Sensationalism has always been part of the mass-media game, and it has become increasingly more dramatic in recent years.

Having been immersed in the media industry since midway through university, I understand how it works. In today’s 24-hour news cycle, reporters and editors are under constant pressure to produce eye-popping content. In editorial meetings, what do you think is more likely to be heard?

“Let’s write a story that is focused on facts and logic, thereby helping people better understand what is going on?”

or

“Let’s jump all over this angle so we get huge readership.”

If you have watched the documentary “The Great Hack” or docudrama “The Social Dilemma”, you probably understand to some degree how media companies mine data and present information that increases the likelihood readers will support advertisers.

In contrast, what we at BIG Media offer is an honest, transparent transaction. You are paying for editorial content that is produced for you, the reader. We have no advertising, and we have no political affiliation. Our only agenda is the truth.

If you do not mind spending a few bucks a week to ensure that you have access to truth-focused information on important issues – without advertising or political spin – head to our Membership page and sign up. It is not free financially, but I reckon you will find it very freeing 🙂

(Editor’s note – ironically, the story you just read is ultimately an advertisement. You will see such messages from time to time as BIG Media helps readers become familiar with our unique model, which launched in February. The only advertising you will see on this site will be our own.)

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.

BIG Wrap

NASA awaits fiery return of asteroid Bennu samples

(BBC News) A seven-year mission to study what has been described as the most dangerous rock in the Solar System is about to reach...

Lavrov decries the West’s ‘empire of lies’ in UN speech

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the West an “empire of lies” and accused it of adopting a neo-colonial...