by Frédéric Filloux
Let’s kill a myth. The dream of a compact newsroom, able to output a high-intensity general news website doesn’t fly. Numbers simply don’t add up. And here is why.
First, the cost structure of a daily. In a typical operation, the biggest costs are industrial ones: around 25%-35% for paper and printing; another 30%-40% for distribution; around 18-25% for editorial; the remaining 10-15% are for administrative and marketing expenditures. It varies from country to country but we can safely assert most of the costs — at least 60% — are industrial in nature. Evidently, that part disappears when going online.
Now let’s compare three numbers:
a) the cost of an online newspaper,
b) the audience needed to absorb costs
c) the audience of the biggest website ..."