Question for a “Media Agnostic” (reprise)

Given the layoffs at NGM this week,
we thought it would be useful to ask this question again.
(Originally posted on June 30, 2009)

To: Chris Johns, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic
Fr: Your friends @ Society Matters

Re: Your interview with Advertising Age

adagechrisjohnsWhen discussing National Geographic’s plans for digital publishing, you recently said:

“Everyone here — writers, photographers, map makers, etc. — is media-agnostic. We want to reach people with great stories, period.”

We love great stories too, and we’ve always been big fans of your wildlife photography. But your “media agnosticism” is deeply puzzling.

You’re the Editor of a print magazine, which more than four million people still pay good money to receive. But once you move those great stories to the web — which presumably is okay for a media agnostic like you — people will pay nothing to read them.

National Geographic on paper is still a viable business; National Geographic on the web is not.

If you have a minute, we’d like to ask you one question:

As people continue to migrate from print to digital,
how does a media agnostic like you
plan to pay NGM
‘s staff and freelancers
to produce those great stories?

We’d welcome your thoughts in the comments, below.

__________

photo via Advertising Age

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