JTA’s New Media Guru Sets Me Straight

Daniel Sieradski aka Orthodox Anarchist, JTA’s director of digital media, posts to my blog:

Luke, tell me, since you got rid of your porn gossip site, who actually pays you to write for them? Aren’t you, by your own admission “not a businessman” nor “a conventional journalist” but “a story teller/entertainer/lunatic”? When was the last time you had a paying gig as a professional writer? I can’t find a single link online to any article you’ve ever written that’s not published exclusively on your own site except for one op-ed in the LA Times.

You make enough off your Adsense revenue to make a living? Shkoyach. They’re here for the porn, I’m sure.

But JTA does, in fact, use Adsense and our monthly earnings are nowhere near enough to cover the operations of an international news agency with over a dozen staff members, a dozen more freelancers, 100 client newspapers, a midtown Manhattan and downtown DC office and a website with at least 6x as much traffic and 6x as much functionality as yours.

In addition to Adsense, we use Commission Junction affiliate network ads, Spark Networks affiliate ads, and we have David Kelsey and Jewish Media Group doing direct ad sales for us. Add to that the revenue from our client papers and organizations, which constitutes the bulk of our annual revenue, and our donations from philanthropists and readers, and we’re still operating in a deficit while completely understaffed and under-resourced.

And it’s not only JTA that’s in such a bind. It’s every newspaper in business today, with players far bigger than us folding under even better circumstances than those we’re in.

So please Mr. All Knowing Pontificate of the News Industry, tell me how your passive Google ad revenue is going to fill the gap that we’re asking our readers to fill?

And by the way, when people like you steal our content and thus our web traffic and then profit from the sale of ads on our content and then you WHINE ABOUT IT when we ask you to stop, it makes it much harder for us to maximize our profits.

Pesach sameach.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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