The paradox of old media

Two bits of news on Reed Business Information (RBI) coming in within days of each other demonstrated the paradox of modern publishing and why something has to be done to change the model. .

First, RBI last week received the AOP On-line Publishing award for, among other things, it's newsletter program (I receive several and they are all outstanding).  Today, Reuters revealed that declining advertising revenues caused the financing package to keep the publication unit afloat to fall through.

RBI has been on the auction block since February and had several suiters bidding up the price.  But in September, some investors got cold feet and backed out after the second round.  Again, the reason was declining ad revenues.

So we have an award-winning media business, lots of people reading the publications, and fewer companies want to support the effort with advertising.  There has to be a better way to maintain a free press.