Why are online journalists asked to monetize everything they do?

Rob Curley raises the above question in a comment thread on Melissa Worden’s post about onBeing, the new Washington Post project Curley’s involved in.

Curley says:

Why are online journalists treated so differently at most newspapers than the print journalists are? I mean, if a print editor was planning a huge enterprise project that was going to be really special for the newspaper (and would take some resources to do successfully), would people ask that print editor how he or she was going to monetize it? Never.

There’s more, and it’s all worth reading, as are Rob’s answers to the questions Howard Owens asked about onBeing.

I’ll say this:

When it comes to monetizing online news, the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t is ongoing, and there are few experts. Staying on top of how an audience behaves in an evolving medium is not as simple as market research. By the time you finish surveying one self-selected group, a MySpace or YouTube has come along to tilt the playing field.

So, I’m happy to spout off a few ideas of how to roll some sort of advertising into content that I create, handle, or edit. If nothing else, I want a say in how it all turns out.

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