Friday, February 05, 2010

Noodles and online news

To describe online news as being like Ramwn noodles maybe a strange analogy but as Seth Lewis asks what is the underlying economic value of online news, anyway?

He refers to the work of Iris Chyi who believes

"she found the answer in the economic principle of “inferior goods.” The idea is simple: When income increases, consumers buy more “normal goods” (think: steak) and fewer “inferior goods” (think: ramen noodles). When income goes down, the opposite occurs (again, all things being equal in economics terms). Inferiority, in this case, isn’t so much a statement of actual quality as it is of consumer perception and demand. If we get richer, our desires for steak go up and our desires for ramen go down."

So how does this apply to journalism? Well

“Users perceive online news in similar ways — online news fulfills certain needs but is not perceived as desirable as print newspapers,”

So when we are feeling more affluent,we will foresake the digital screen for the plaesure of opening a newspaper or magazine.

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