The sustainability of public interest journalism has never been more in jeopardy. Public interest news has been supported by advertising revenues in the form of subsidies due to the large expenses involved in reporting, investigating and the related activities. However, with the rise of the Internet and smartphones, newspapers and broadcasters have lost most of their advertising revenues, and the distribution of news is now led by search sites and social media operated by giant tech companies, public interest news, whose supply was originally limited, is now even scarcer than sensational news, entertainment gossip, and sports. The number of public interest news outlets, which had been small to begin with, has dwindled further. As a result, countries are now creating public support mechanisms for news, such as philanthropy, crowdfunding, and government subsidies, to replace advertising revenues. This paper focuses on three aspects: the collapse of the news industry, the rise of giant tech and platforms, and political intervention in news media. Through thematic reviews, the paper explores the different systems and roles of public support in each country, and the challenges and options for democratically overcoming the crisis of the survival of public interest news.
Yotaro Okamoto, Komazawa University, Japan