Dairine88's Blog

Charles Overbys Twelve Commandments. | August 17, 2009

The first question to ask is who is Charles Overby?

Well Mr. Overby, is a well established journalist, editor and publisher who also happens to be the CEO of The Freedom Forum and of the Newseum (A international foundation based in Washington D.C  advocating free press and speech rights for all people).

Basically this man is pretty high up the journalistic world.

His office wall would recently  include an award from the The 2009 Gerald M. Sass Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication at the Association for Educators in Journalism.

In his acceptance speech he outlined the twelve ‘must do’s’ or ‘commandments’ for today’s  newspapers, online or not.

(The explanation for these can be read in full on this website)

1. Free is not a business model

2. Internet cannot replace the newspaper-sized newsroom

3. Preservation of the newsroom

4. Charging for content does not make you technically illiterate:

5. Publishers are waking up

6. Publishers are to blame for their papers’ demise

7. The underline principle of news has not changed

8. The last decade is the lost decade

9. Negative trends are the result of publishers’ disastrous decisions:

10. Free is a trendy thing

11. Newspapers can’t survive if they continue to give their content for free

12. Reversing the trend


Mr. Overy gives a lot of relevant and useful advice for the media all around the world.  He speaks passionately about the need for paid subscriptions for news websites, as newsrooms will not be able to survive if they continue to give out news for free. He makes a great point when he says that the shrinking newsrooms are bad for our journalists, it is also equally bad for our democracy.

This opinion has been echoed by Rupert Murdoch when he said: “You’re going to have to pay for your favorite newspaper on the Web. (Free content online) is going to stop. Newspapers will be selling subscriptions on the Web. The whole thing (premium content) will be there. The Web as it is today will be vastly improved, they’ll be much in them and you’ll pay for them.”


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