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If the Commercial Miracle of Newspapers is Over, What will Replace It?

Newspapers have been a commercial miracle. For a very small outlay one got access to a surprisingly wide range of news, opinion and information. Part of the explanation was economies of scale, but the trick was that much of the industry’s revenue came from advertising.

The economics of information shows that whatever happens, the solution our ailing newspapers to the digital revolution will not be a perfect one. 

An important notion in economic analysis is of a ‘public good’ (which may be a service). Not THE public good (a.k.a. the ‘common good’), which is shared and beneficial for all or most members of a given community. A public good in this narrow sense has two key features: it is ‘non-excludable’ and it is ‘non-rivalrous’.