Journalism and the Future

Here’s an interview I did recently on what the future holds and a little bit of my backstory. Some of you might be interested. Others maybe not. But thought it was worth dropping in here.


" 10 or 15 years from now, there are fewer outlets and fewer people, but I think maybe they’re better. It feels like we’re in the middle of this thing where there’s so much stuff , and yet the revenue that’s able to be generated is obviously on a downward trend."

I think everything worth reading will be behind a paywall of some kind. You probably follow this more closely than me, but have there been any new journalism sites that haven’t basically used The Athletic’s model in the last few years?

The only thing that might make it different in sports journalism is how many people will do it for the feedback as much as anything else because they love sports.

To piggy back on this, Patreon is a perfect example of people who write/podcast for free viewing entities are starting to build their own brand through Patreon and charge people to consume their content that way as well. It leads to more talented people making money basically free lancing. That isn’t to say that this is positive or negative, just an observation backing your point a little more.


It also goes along with what I’ve been saying about the Outkick/Barstool model, it clearly shows what there is a market for out there. The “Dirtbag Left” is raking in the money on Patreon, far more than they likely would with a traditional website.

I think on the bad side, it’s personality first journalism and does nothing to support the “vegetables” portion of news.

Another new sports site that’s pay only. @TheHeadChimp should be happy about it.

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Yup, saw the announcement on Twitter. May consider it.

It’s the only way forward. But it’s also not a silver bullet. I think with all of this stuff, it’s comprehensive. You have to do the pay model well and the ad model and the branding and the merch. All of it. The barrier to entry is very low, but the barrier to sustainability might be higher than ever.


I think “the branding” is what concerns me. The only way to be sustainable is to be personality first. We see it in the complaints about PFB all the time, criticism of Gundy isn’t the desired branding. This gets reinforced everywhere. Some political journalists I follow often remark on how most of their criticism is exactly the same as what PFB gets, their latest article hurts “the team.” People aren’t paying to read/hear someone call it as they see it, they’re paying to have their own existing opinions reinforced by someone with a blue check.

It may be the only sustainable model, but it’s also a deranging one.


Can’t wait for the PFB “Brain Formula”


It’s kinda wild how many YouTubers hardly make anything from YouTube, they make it all from their Patreon subscribers.

As a content creator, the only issue I see with Patreon is the people that pay you there, usually have very specific requests for what they want. To me that can be hard. For ex. if I have an angle on a story that I’m passionate about, it’s easy to write. If someone says “I’m going to pay you to research and write this very specific story”, it can feel like a lot more work to do that, almost like a homework writing assignment or something.

I’ve always felt my best stuff comes when I can be really creative and just find whatever angle I want to tackle and go for it. But at the same time you can’t ignore feedback from your readers.


As someone not in this field I find that interesting. I first thought “isn’t that the same as being a paid writer? Your employer tells you basically what to write about, or what angle to give it”. This may be different for you not knowing the inner workings of PFB, do you get to write for the most part what interests you in regards to OSU wrestling?

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Unfortunately that is really leading to the ramping up of “fake news” and misleading headlines and stories with an agenda leading the way on what people believe in this country.


For sure. That Breitbart thing with the “demon sperm” doctor is all over my Facebook today.


It’s like Exhibit 73 in things I did not expect to read about when I woke up this morning.


Sort of.

I get a lot of freedom with what I want to write here. At first it wasn’t that way, I had to basically prove myself and follow a bit more of a guided path. But the reality at that time was I had no idea what I was doing. I’m just basically a big wrestling fan with no writing background, so I think that oversight was needed to get me started. On the flip-side of that, there aren’t a lot of die-hard wrestling folks at PFB. So this is no knock on Porter or anyone else, but there were definitely some moments where I would see the list of stuff I had to write about and would go “No wrestling fan cares about that”

So as we’ve gone, I think I’ve figured out what hits and what misses and what legitimately crosses the line of something I shouldn’t say or write about. And in that same breath, I think Porter has gained the trust in me that I won’t type up some profanity laced tirade or do something that crosses over a line that shouldn’t be published.

So as I’ve now been doing this for 3 years, it’s definitely traversed over to where I have a pretty good grip on what people want and what I do well. And PFB has more or less granted me the freedom to make the call on what that is and just write it as I can.

Naturally it’s all still vetted and edited by someone and if there’s a specific event we’re covering I have to be on top of that when it happens, but a lot of stuff, especially now without sports, is me just coming up with something to write about and putting it together.


That’s awesome! I was definitely meaning now a days that you’ve really proved yourself in the ways you mentioned!

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This sounds like something I am gonna have to search out, and then really regret it when I find it. So basically like the free boards.


Haha, this is true.


Future of journalism? Printed paper!image

On the micro level I think everything will have to go behind paywalls at some point.

On the macro level I think you might see the digital bubble start to deflate. Not burst, but slowly deflate. The next 10-15 years I think theres a massive pushback against everyone being online, all the time.

Most of the benefits of the internet/social media/phones has been realized but now the drawbacks are starting to show and the cost is enormous. Increased rates of depression, anxiety, poor sleep, isolation, etc etc.

It’s going to start falling more and more into an alcohol type category necessary for most, but careful how much you intake.