CNET’s News.com recently reported that webzine Salon.com has now generated 35,000 paying subscribers for its Salon Premium services. Indeed, Salon’s press release announcing that level of paying subscribership received favorable play in trade press for online publishing.
That’s too bad, because some of those journalists have fogotten that context, not content, is ‘king’ in journalism. Dotcom Scoop‘s Deputy Editor Robert Loch didn’t forget that basic journalism lesson. He debunks Salon’s press release and News.com’s fawning coverage of it. “Given the fantastic chance to receive Salon Premium content for as little as $2.50 per month, a staggering 3,770,000 of Salon’s reported 3.8 million readership have decided not to bother.” Loch also notes that a nearly a third of the income from this “hopeless” one-eighth of a percent response rate will be
consumed by Salon Founder David Talbot’s $300K annual salary, nonetheless paying for the rest of his staff or Salon‘s more than $70 million debt.