The Guardian's John Naughton isn't looking to micro-transactions or licensing fees from search services to solve the online news business model problems that have come to a head recently. Instead, he's simply waiting for capitalism to do its job in killing off the providers who can't cut it. Once that happens, he says, the remaining organizations will be in a far better position to see what web-goers will pay for online news, and he doesn't think it will inhibit the growth of an increasingly information-rich news ecosystem. "Things have got so bad that Rupert Murdoch has tasked a team with finding a way of charging for News Corp content. This is the 'make the bastards pay' school of thought. Another group of fantasists speculate about ways of extorting money from Google, which they portray as a parasitic feeder on their hallowed produce. ... But what will journalism be like in the perfectly competitive online world? One clue is provided by the novelist William Gibson's celebrated maxim that 'the future is already here; it's just not evenly distributed.' In a recent lecture, the writer Steven Johnson took Gibson's insight to heart and argued that if we want to know what the networked journalism of the future might be like, we should look now at how the reporting of technology has evolved over the past few decades."
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