The Business of Journalism and Studying the Journalism Business

Nikki Usher, Mark Poepsel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter challenges the conventional assumption that journalism can be saved through a singular business model. We argue, using examples from the United States, that scholars and journalists need to be more holistically engaged with the economics of media more generally, and different types of journalism beyond newspaper and digital-first outlets. Second, scholars and journalists need to be more intellectually honest about their aims in conducting this research: Is research on news business models aimed at propping up corporate-funded journalism? What is the purpose of critiquing current business models, and are the solutions proposed really tenable or equitable within current political and social landscapes? Third, universities should consider their strengths and limitations in serving as potential “bubbles” for innovation, experimentation, and insulation from commercial pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJournalism Research that Matters
EditorsValérie Bélair-Gagnon, Nikki Usher
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780197538470
ISBN (Print)9780197538487
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Business models
  • Crisis in journalism
  • Cross-media subsidies
  • Digital advertising
  • Digital subscriptions
  • Future of journalism
  • Journalism
  • Market failure
  • Media management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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