Against big tech comp, paywalls & more. One-on-one with Jeff Jarvis


As the news publishing industry continues to fight the big tech giants, Google & Facebook, for what is considered fair compensation for the content journalists create and that the tech companies monetize via clicks and posts, one voice tweets to over 170,000 followers: "Klobuchar's JCPA is shit legislation” and “Protectionism is not a business model. Whining is not a business model. Handouts are not a business model. Lobbying politicians is not a business model. Adding value to communities and their conversations, helping them meet their goals: that is the only model worth pursuing.

Those tweets and comments belong to the director of the Tow-Knight Center at the Craig Newmark Graduate School at CUNY, Jeff Jarvis, who also posts that “paywalls damage democracy." He states, "When disinformation is free, how can we restrict quality information to the privileged who choose to afford it?”

Jarvis is not a newcomer to our industry, starting in the '70s as a columnist at the San Francisco Examiner, spending most of the '90s as president and creative director at, the digital arm of Newhouse Newspapers, Conde Nast magazines, Fairchild Publications and Bright House Cable. He eventually began consulting and blogging about digital transformation and teaching at CUNY. He has authored over five books, including: "What Would Google Do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World (2009)”  and “Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live."

In his latest Kindle Single offering, "Guttenberg the Geek,” Jarvis claims that Johannes Gutenberg was our first “geek” and our “patron saint of entrepreneurs," being the original technology entrepreneur, facing the same challenges a Silicon Valley startup deals with today. He even draws a parallel between Guttenberg and Steve Jobs on how they both had to raise capital and mitigate risk to innovate how we would receive our content for centuries.

In this 162nd episode of “E&P Reports,” we go one-on-one with the director of the Tow-Knight Center at the Craig Newmark Graduate School at CUNY, asking Jeff Jarvis his reasons for not supporting current congressional fair compensation efforts and antitrust legislation to help local news publishers continue to find sustainable business models. Why is the industry making a big mistake moving toward paid content models? Why he believes "Media forms have half-lives, newspapers & magazines are fading, and broadcast's age is ending."


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